Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium

Capacity30 000
Country Iraq
ClubsAl-Minaa SC
Inauguration 26/12/2022
Construction 2011–2022
Cost $ 86 M
Design 360 Architecture
Contractor Anwar Soura General Contracting Company


Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium – stadium description

How was Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium built?

Construction of Al-Minaa SC's new football stadium began in the spring of 2011. Work began with the demolition of the old facility, which was built in the 1930s and last underwent modernisation in 1995. It was a much more modest stadium than its successor, with its best years behind it. At the time of its demolition, it could hold around 10 000 spectators. A new facility was to be built in its place, although the pitch was moved slightly to the east. The design of the new arena was prepared by the American studio 360 Architecture.

Al-Minaa SC is one of the oldest clubs in the country. It achieved its greatest success in the 1977/78 season, when it became the first team from outside Baghdad to win the Iraqi championship. The new arena was built with more than just this team in mind. Iraq was designated to host the Gulf Cup in 2013, with matches of the tournament planned to be played in Basra and, in addition to Al-Minaa Stadium, they were also to be held at two venues (main and secondary) of Basra Sports City complex.

The unstable situation in the country, followed by the war against the Islamic State and the economic crisis, meant that the construction of the stadium, which was scheduled to be completed in 2013, slowed down until it was finally halted altogether. The organisation of the Gulf Cup, which was to be Iraq's first major sporting event after the long string of armed conflicts the country has been involved in, was postponed several times.

Construction work only resumed after several years and was completed at the end of 2022. The grand opening of the new arena took place on December 26, 2022. The inauguration included honouring former Al-Minaa SC players, who won the national championship in 1978, and the highlight of the evening was a friendly match between the hosts and the Kuwait SC team, which ended with a score of 1:2.

The commissioning of the stadium was timed just in time for the Gulf Cup scheduled for January 2023, which was originally due to be held in Basra 10 years earlier. As part of the tournament, six group stage matches were played at Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium. The remaining group phase games, as well as the semi-finals and final, took place at Basra International Stadium.

What does Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium look like?

The stadium is located in the city centre. The facility is equipped with an athletics track, which is surrounded by an oval ring of single-tier stands. The upper edge of the auditorium gently waves, reaching the highest height along the pitch (in the centre) and the lowest at the curves. The stands are equipped with plastic seats in white and blue. Two video screens have been installed on the arches. The main stand with boxes and facilities is located on the west side.

The capacity of the stadium is 30 000 spectators. The most distinctive feature of the facility is the roof over its stands. This structure is based on 48 steel masts, distributed around the stadium. It is formed by repetitive segments of an original curved shape, covered with a white PTFE membrane. These can be reminiscent of moving sea waves. The whole architecture of the stadium refers to the city's coastal location and its maritime heritage.



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