Damanhur Olympic Stadium
|Clubs||Ala’ab Damanhour SC|
|Category||Design being implemented|
|Cost||EGP 250 M ($ 54 M)|
|Other names||Damanhur International Stadium|
|Contractor||Hassan Allam Construction Company|
Damanhur Olympic Stadium – design description
When did the plans to build a new stadium in Damanhur originate?
At the beginning of the 21st century, in Damanhur, some 60 kilometres east of Alexandria, the construction of a new sports complex began, the centrepiece of which was to be a large, multi-purpose stadium. At the time, Egypt was seeking the rights to host the 2010 World Cup, which was to be held in an African country. The Damanhur venue joined this initiative as one of the potential arenas for the tournament.
What was the new stadium in Damanhur supposed to look like?
The new stadium was to be built on the western outskirts of the city, on the main road leading to Alexandria. The plan was to build a multi-purpose stadium with an athletics track, surrounded on all sides by stands. The grandstands along the pitch were to be higher than those on the arches, and the upper sections of the west grandstand were to be covered. Digital scoreboards would appear on the arches.
The auditorium was to be fully equipped with individual seats and the capacity of the stadium was assumed to be 45,500 spectators. On the outside, near the corners, four columns were to be built with spiral entrances leading into the stands. Four floodlight masts were also to be erected behind the stands. The stadium would potentially be hosted by local football club Ala'ab Damanhour SC.
Surrounding the stadium were to be a sports hall for 4,500 spectators and an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, as well as squash facilities, playing fields and tennis courts, a children's playground, an administration building, a mosque and a hotel.
How did the project for the new stadium in Damanhur progress?
The cost of completing the entire complex was estimated at 250 million Egyptian pounds. The project was funded from the budget of the Al-Buhajra muhafaza. Full completion was planned for 2008 or 2009. In 2003, the first phase of construction began, which included the construction of part of the grandstands, squash facilities and an external fence. The work was valued at £90 million and the contractor was Hassan Allam Construction Company.
In May 2004, South Africa was selected to host the 2010 World Cup. Egypt did not receive a single vote, also losing out to Morocco's candidacy. Shortly afterwards, in July 2004, construction of the stadium in Damanhur was halted. At the time, the advancement of work was estimated at 20 per cent, and the reinforced concrete skeleton of the east stand and sections of the stands on the arches were already ready on site. By the time work was halted, £38m had been spent on construction.
Construction was later attempted to resume, but a rise in the price of building materials pushed up the estimated cost of completing the entire project to £500 million. On top of this, it also emerged that, according to the plans, a high-voltage power line was going to run through the area where the stadium was being built, and moving it generated further costs.
Will the Damanhur stadium construction be completed?
Since 2004, the construction site has remained abandoned. However, new buildings have been constructed by Damanhur University on the plot of land adjacent to the stadium to the west. In 2015, the university bought the stadium site together with the plot adjacent to the south. Construction of further buildings has begun on the additional plot. The stadium is to be completed in the future and become a university facility, also serving the local community.