Grand Stade de Casablanca

Capacity93 000
Country Morocco
CityBenslimane
ClubsWydad AC, Raja CA
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$404 M
Construction?
Design Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos

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Grand Stade de Casablanca – design description

When were the first plans for the new Grand Stade de Casablanca conceived?

The first concrete plans for the construction of a new, large stadium in Casablanca were made in the early 2000s, on the occasion of Morocco's bid to host the 2010 World Cup. The World Cup was to be held in an African country, so Morocco's chances were seen as realistic at the time, but in the vote held on May 15, 2004, South Africa's bid was assessed better.

The new stadium was to be built in the Sidi Moumen district, with a capacity of 95,000 spectators. However, after the failure of the Moroccan bid, the project was not realised, although in subsequent years it was declared that the stadium would still be built, but with a capacity of 70,000 spectators. At the time, the cost of building the venue was estimated at more than 2 billion dirhams.

When were further concepts for Grand Stade de Casablanca developed?

In 2010, a new concept, reminiscent of the desert rose, was prepared by the French bureau SCAU. In 2011, an architectural competition was held with renowned studios from around the world. The winner was the vision of the Space Group consortium from Norway and the local Belahmer Said. None of the new designs lived to see realisation either.

When was the latest vision for Grand Stade de Casablanca created?

Another concept emerged in 2018, on the occasion of Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The project was prepared by Spain's Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos, and the stadium was to hold 93,000 spectators and be the arena for the opening match and the final. However, Morocco this time lost the battle to host the World Cup to the combined bid of Canada, United States and Mexico, and the project for a new stadium in Casablanca once again remained in the planning stages.

Will the Grand Stade de Casablanca project be realised?

Morocco decided to bid to host the next World Cup, in 2030, the sixth attempt by this country. Initially, Morocco wanted to fight on its own, but eventually joined the joint initiative of Spain and Portugal. This time the attempt was successful – on October 4, 2023, Spain, Portugal and Morocco were announced as the hosts of the tournament, in addition to three South American countries: Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to host one match each.

With Morocco being awarded the role of co-host of the 2030 World Cup, the construction of a new stadium in Casablanca is almost certain. The Moroccans would even like to host the final match at Grand Stade de Casablanca. The striking design created in 2018 by Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos remains in discussion, but it is possible that a new concept will be prepared for the 2030 World Cup. There have even been claims that the venue should be larger, to accommodate 113,000 spectators.

What are the objectives of the concept prepared by Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos?

The vision for the Grand Stade de Casablanca is to create a football-specific venue with a capacity of 93,000 spectators. The stands will be divided into two tiers. Despite the football-like, rectangular layout inside, the outer contour of the building will be circular. The structure will be topped by a huge, distinctive roof reminiscent of a hat, very similar to that of Atlético Madrid's stadium, also designed by Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos.

Where will the Grand Stade de Casablanca be built?

In the course of planning a new stadium for Casablanca, the proposed location has changed several times. In addition to the Sidi Moumen district, the facility was to be built in Lahraouiyine or the suburb of Bouskoura. The project from Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos is envisaged to be built in Benslimane, located at a considerable distance from Casablanca (about 40 km) and also about 60 km from Rabat. According to information from Morocco's official bid to host the 2026 World Cup, construction is expected to cost $404 million.

Who will the Grand Stade de Casablanca serve?

Aside from the 2030 World Cup, on a day-to-day basis, Grand Stade de Casablanca is expected to serve two local clubs (Wydad and Raja), whose matches count among the most famous derby in the world. As the largest stadium in the country (and one of the largest in Africa), the venue will also de facto act as the national stadium and should be the venue where the Moroccan national team will often play.

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