Stadium of the Year 2023: 6 new stadiums in the Middle East

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

Stadium of the Year 2023: 6 new stadiums in the Middle East Two new stadiums in Turkey, as many as three in Saudi Arabia and one from Iran - this is the total of venues opened in 2023 in the Middle East. What do these arenas look like and what do they contain? Find out more about them - perhaps one of the facilities will deserve your points in the Stadium of the Year competition.


Select the best stadium of the year

Turkey with more investments

As in 2022, Turkish stadiums are now also in the running for Stadium of the Year. The larger of the two, Elaziğ Stadyumu, follows the traditions of Turkish architecture in a modern way. The building is massive, but its size is broken up by the glazing, horizontal louvres and wooden panels adorning the facades.

In quite a different neighbourhood, Karaman Stadyumu, visible from a distance, was built. What is quite rare, the stands of this facility can be heated in winter. Next to the arena, car parks and a training pitch complex are planned.

Elaziğ Stadyumu© Tolga | Elaziğ Stadyumu

Three Saudi novelties and an intimate stadium in Iran

In June 2021, the Saudi Ministry of Sports announced a plan to develop three smaller stadiums in the country. Among them was a facility belonging to the Ettifaq Club team from the city of Ad-Dammam, while Al-Shabab stadium from Riyadh and Al Fateh stadium from Al-Mubarraz were also on the list.

The latter is the smallest with a capacity of 11,000 spectators. The other two venues are 4 000 spectators larger. This is the start of a stadium trend in Saudi Arabia, with more arenas being built. Will any of the three delivered in 2023 go far in the competition?

At the very end we find our way to Iran, where one venue was built last year. Construction of the stadium began in 2011, with work progressing at a relatively slow pace. In 2016, the auxiliary football stadium was ready and received stands for 2,000 spectators. It became the temporary home of Mes Rafsanjan FC, until the main stadium opened. The facility has a multi-purpose character. The running track is surrounded, separated by a moat, by a low ring of stands. Only in the western section does the main stand have a second storey and is significantly higher than the rest. The upper floor of the main stand received a canopy, supported by internal supports.

Al-Shabab© Ministry of Sport | Al-Shabab stadium