Basra International Stadium (Basra Sports City Main Stadium)
|15/07/2009 - 10/2013
|$ 550 million
|Abdullah Al-Jiburi Contracting Company
Basra International Stadium – stadium description
The construction of Basra's largest sports complex in the city's southern outskirts began in mid-July 2009. It was supposed to comprise two stadiums (one of Olympic size at 80,000, the other for 20,000 people), four training pitches, a series of buildings including four hotels, indoor sports facilities, hospital and rescue services hq. During the planning phase capacities of the two largest venues were downscaled to 65,000 and 20,000, respectively.
The football facilities were surrounded by a complex of artificial ponds that together form the shape of Iraq's map when viewed from above. At the heart stands the main stadium, designed by 360 Architecture. Along the designers' vision the stadium was covered with a total of 45,000 sqm of synthetic cladding formed into large panels interleaving large steel columns.
The external wrap and roof sheets are supported by a massive structure of 19,000 tons of steel. Under that shell are the concrete stands divided into two tiers of seats, topped by two giant screens.
Construction of the complex was due to finish within 32 months, but was delayed severely, mainly due to design changes over the course of works. First scheduled for opening in early 2012, later postponed to early 2013, the opening finally took place on October 12, 2013 when the stadium wasn't fully completed yet.
The opening event, attended by sell-out crowd of 65,000, was subject to serious controversy. First FIFA objected to Egyptian and Syrian clubs participating in the friendly tournament that was held either way. Then a power shortage caused major blackout while the stadium had no backup generator. And as if that wasn't enough, photos of numerous destroyed seats were uploaded by attendees, claiming the seats were breaking extremely easily, even possibly contributing to the death of a young man, who fell onto the seats and suffered from severe bleeding, reportedly dying on site.
Iraq: Gulf Cup final overshadowed by tragedy
A tragic incident occurred ahead of the Gulf Cup final match between the host and Omani national teams scheduled for Thursday January 19 at 19:00 local time. Crowds of fans gathered outside Basra International Stadium in a huge crush began to trample each other. There are fatalities and many injured.
Iraq: “Double the work” as deadline looms for Basra
Today the prime minister of Iraq ordered more effort be put into the completion of Minaa Stadium in Basra. The venue should be ready in October if Iraq is to host the 25th Gulf Cup.
Iraq: International football returns after four years
They haven't had a mega event like this for years. Stadium sold out, extatic crowds. Who would have thought it was only a friendly game against Jordan?
Nomination: Basrah International Stadium
On one hand this stadium's scale and standard amaze, sending a strong signal that Iraq is reappearing on global sports map right now. But on the other hand some questions still need to be answered regarding its future.
Stadium of the Year 2013: Let the vote begin!
It's time to start the selection process. For the next month you can thoroughly review all candidates and make your move, selecting 2013's Stadium of the Year. The world's largest open competition of this kind begins now!