Al-Zawraa Stadium

Capacity15 443
Country Iraq
ClubsAl-Zawraa SC
Inauguration 15/02/2022
Construction 2012–2022
Cost IQD 60 B ($ 41 M)
Contractor Boland Payeh


Al-Zawraa Stadium – stadium description

How was the new Al-Zawraa SC club stadium built?

The old stadium of Al-Zawraa SC, the most successful team in Iraq, had existed since 1978, and was further expanded in 2002. In 2012, however, the facility was completely demolished in order to build a brand new, more modern stadium in its place. The investment was led and financed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with the Iranian company Boland Payeh as the main contractor.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 26 January 2012 and was attended by, among others, the Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports and his Iranian counterpart. Work was expected to take 26 months and the new facility was to be ready in early 2014. In the meantime, Al-Zawraa SC football players played their matches at Al-Shaab Stadium.

The first concepts differed significantly from the final shape of the stadium. Initially, the new venue was planned to hold around 12,000 spectators, but during the works it was decided to increase this number to more than 15,000. However, the plans to build a new sports hall, swimming pool or hotel alongside the stadium were abandoned for cost-saving reasons.

Work progressed much more slowly than planned, also influenced by the war against the Islamic State and the economic downturn. In 2019, the first seats and green turf arrived at the stadium. In the end, the facility was not ready for its inauguration until early 2022, after 10 years of construction. The opening of the new arena took place on 15 February 2022, on the occasion of an Iraqi league match between Al-Zawraa SC and Al-Diwaniya SC (2:0).

The cost of the investment was 60 billion Iraqi dinars and, despite a considerable extension of the construction period, it turned out to be only slightly higher than the original budget (55 billion).

What are the characteristics of Al-Zawraa Stadium?

The facility is located near the centre of Baghdad, close to the banks of the Tigris River. The stadium has a typical football rectangular layout, with four covered stands behind each of the sidelines and end lines of the pitch. The stands are held together by four corner blocks, making the structure's architecture reminiscent of some of the original European stadiums (from Nîmes, Genoa or Porto).

The stands are single-storey, except for the main stand (located on the west side), which is slightly higher than the others and has a narrow second tier and boxes at the top. The first rows of stands behind the goals are clearly above the level of the pitch. The two corners are equipped with video screens and floodlights are installed under the roof. The pitch is equipped with a hybrid turf.

The capacity of the stadium is 15 443 spectators. The stands are equipped with plastic seats in black and white, which, mixed together, form a mosaic (with a predominance of white chairs at the bottom and black chairs at the top), and in the central part of the eastern stand form a Z-shape. On the outside, the stands are topped with a facade. The facility was built primarily for the Al-Zawraa SC club and also meets the requirements for hosting matches at international level.



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