Suez Canal Authority Stadium
|Cost||EGP 500 M ($ 26 M)|
|Contractor||Suez Canal Investment Company|
Suez Canal Authority Stadium – stadium description
How was the new Suez Canal Authority Stadium built?
At the beginning of 2019, demolition of the old Suez Canal Stadium began in Ismailia. The existing 10,000-seater was to be replaced by a brand new, larger arena. The Suez Canal Investment Company was the main contractor and the investment was led by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which is headquartered in Ismailia and manages the Suez Canal. The stadium cost 500 million Egyptian pounds to build.
The new venue is a major part of the expansion of the sports complex owned by the SCA. Even before construction of the stadium began, development of a indoor arena and a hockey stadium had begun around the site. The investment in sports infrastructure is an illustration of the thriving SCA's concern for its social role for the region and its contribution to the nationwide development of physical culture facilities.
The arena was planned to be operational as early as the beginning of 2021, but construction was delayed somewhat, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the stadium, other facilities were built around it: small multipurpose fields, car parks, helipads, and a mosque. Finally, the venue, along with the entire complex, was inaugurated with a ceremony on September 8, 2022, on the occasion of the visit of Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi.
What are the characteristics of Suez Canal Authority Stadium?
The stadium has a football and athletics layout and features a blue tartan running track with eight lanes. Surrounding the track are stands, divided into four separate segments, two along the pitch and two in the arches. Two video screens have been placed on the arches, and four floodlight masts have been erected outside the stands, near the corners. The pitch has a hybrid surface.
The main stand with boxes (including the exclusive presidential box equipped with bulletproof glass), VIP seats and back facilities is located on the west side. It is the only one with a canopy that covers the upper part of the auditorium. The stand on the opposite side is slightly lower than the others.
The capacity of the auditorium is 21 000 spectators. The stands are equipped with plastic seats with backs, arranged in a mosaic of white, light blue and dark blue. In addition, the eastern stand was made of yellow seats with the words 'SCAS' in Latin script (an abbreviation for Suez Canal Authority Stadium). The building has facilities for the disabled.
In the back of the main stand there are four changing rooms for the players (making it possible to play two consecutive matches in the stadium), with a sauna and a jacuzzi available. In addition, there are referee rooms, VAR facilities, press and commentary booths, a conference room, restaurants, an administration area, as well as a hotel dedicated to hosting young footballers, a gym and medical facilities.
The stadium is the main building block of the SCA-owned sports centre. The compound is located in the eastern part of Ismailia, close to the hotel complex located on Crocodile Lake. Surrounding the stadium is an outdoor swimming pool complex, a sports hall with a capacity of 2,300 spectators, a stadium with a hockey pitch, training grounds, small multi-purpose fields, as well as a mosque, car parks and helipads.
What uses does Suez Canal Authority Stadium have?
The facility meets high standards, in line with the requirements of the national football federation, CAF and FIFA. It can host matches of international rank. The entire complex is suitable for national teams, clubs and youth teams.
It is possible that El Qanah FC will be a permanent host of the stadium in the future, although for the time being, following the opening of the arena, the second division team has remained in its intimate stadium adjacent to the complex. In February/March 2023, however, the stadium will be one of the arenas for the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
The venue is also mentioned as part of Greece, Egypt and Saudi Arabia's bid to host the 2030 World Cup, although adapting the arena to host World Cup matches would certainly require a significant expansion.
Stadium of the Year 2022: Discover Suez Canal Authority Stadium
Our Stadium of the Year competition has officially begun and will run until March 15. As many as 36 venues are on the list of nominees this year. One of them is Suez Canal Authority Stadium located in Ismailia, Egypt. Take a look at this candidacy and decide whether you want to vote for it in the contest for Stadium of the Year 2022!