|Clubs||Al-Nassr FC, Al-Hilal Saudi FC|
|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
|Cost||$ 315 M|
Qiddiya Stadium – design description
How did plans to build a new stadium west of Riyadh come about?
A megaproject called Qiddiya was unveiled in 2019. It is to be a huge entertainment complex to be built less than 50 km west of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The complex will be located in a valley surrounded on three sides by high cliffs. It will include amusement parks, hotels, shopping centres and even a Formula 1 circuit.
Part of the development will be a sports centre to be built above the valley, on the edge of the high cliffs. It will include a sports hall and aquatic centre. The centrepiece will be a football stadium with a capacity of over 22,000 spectators.
What will Qiddiya Stadium feature?
The stadium will have three-storey stands, with the main stand located on the eastern side. The narrow middle floor of the auditorium will be a premium zone and will be enhanced with a diverse hospitality offering.
The venue will be built right on the edge of a cliff. The unusual topographical location was taken advantage of by the architects, who opted out of building the stands on the west side so that spectators can enjoy a panoramic view of the valley.
An oval roof will be built over the stadium, extending beyond the outline of the stands. The roof will also cover the space on the west side where the stands should 'nominally' be located. There will be photovoltaic panels on the sheathing to cover most of the venue's electricity needs, and floodlights will be installed underneath.
As rains are rare in the region, the more important role of the roof will be to shade the auditorium and help with temperature control. The stadium will be equipped with a cooling system, of which underground air passages will be a feature.
When will Qiddiya Stadium be built?
According to estimates, the stadium will cost $315 million to build. It was originally expected that the facility would be completed as early as 2023, but construction has not started as planned. According to the latest information, the stadium is expected to be ready in 2026.
How will Qiddiya Stadium be used?
In early 2022, a partnership was announced with two award-winning clubs from Riyadh, Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr, who are expected to play their matches there once the stadium is operational. In turn, Saudi Arabia was awarded the hosting of the 2027 Asian Cup in early 2023, with the tournament set to host the group stage matches and the round of 16 at Qiddiya Stadium.
2027 Asian Cup: Confusion over selection of tournament host
On December 3, 2019, the AFC announced the start of the process of selecting the host of the 2027 Asian Cup. Federations interested in hosting the tournament had until March 31, 2020 to submit their candidacies, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a deadline that has been postponed several times. Several years later, we know both the country and the stadiums that will host the tournament.