Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium
|Clubs||Al-Ahli, Ittihad FC|
|Cost||SAR 150 mln|
Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium – design description
The southernmost large stadium of Jeddah was accepted for expansion in 2012. Earlier it lost some of its capacity after conversion to all-seater mode and the stands dated back to 1970, crying for upgrade.
Thus a scheme to improve the stadium was drawn and it foresaw only the western grandstand retaining its previous size. All other sides were to have a second tier of seating, while both ends would also see the first tier expanded. The goal was capacity of roughly 32,000.
Aside from the size also all amenities were to change. Beginning with 61 electronic turnstiles and new safety systems, concession stands and toilets, access ramps, staircases and 12 lifts, ending with 34 private skyboxes to improve revenue streams.
The stadium revamp was to cost SAR 90 million, but after amendments done to the initial design it grew to SAR 150 million ($40m / €37m). However, the size also increased after changes to nearly 40,000.
Unfortunately the time frame of just 10 months for expansion soon proved impossible to keep. In July 2013, after just a few months from groundbreaking, most of the upper deck was already in place. But first two segments of the roof collapsed, causing a standstill until safe solution was found. This way roof structure began growing no sooner than mid-2014.
In the end, the redevelopment took much longer than anticipated and the facility could not be re-inaugurated until 1 October 2021 on the occasion of a derby match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli. The upgrade increased the stadium's capacity to 27,000 spectators.