In a change of plans, Qatar’s Al Rayyan Stadium will be deconstructed before it is rebuilt and ready for the 2022 World Cup, local organizers have announced.
The news signals a shift in the country’s original bid plan to refurbish the stadium to increase its capacity from 22,000 to more than 40,000 fans.
Previously, a modular top tier was expected to be added that would be disassembled after the tournament and used to build football facilities in developing countries.
That facet of the construction is still going ahead as planned. But it now appears the rest of the stadium is also being overhauled.
When completed, it will include modern amenities such as a social club, cricket ground, trails for running or walking and other facilities, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is overseeing World Cup preparations, said in a statement.
Earlier this year, a contract to redevelop Al Rayyan Stadium was awarded to Manco International General Contracting W.L.L., a joint venture between Manco W.L.L and Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd.
According to the SCDL, the company has been working to meet the strict Workers’ Welfare Standards outlined for firms working on Qatar’s World Cup projects.
Manco will also be tasked with reusing 90 percent of the “deconstruction waste.”
Construction on Al Rayyan stadium is slated for completion in 2019, and over the next five years, the Al Rayyan Sports Club will move to a temporary building near the stadium site.
The facility was originally designed to look like it was wrapped in a massive digital display board that can show scores, photographs and other information.
However, the design has since changed, and a new look of the stadium will be offered during National Day in December, the SCDL said.
Al Rayyan is one of five proposed World Cup host venues that are currently in the works in Qatar. According to the SCDL, the others are:
- Al Wakrah Stadium (enabling works);
- Qatar Foundation Stadium (enabling works);
- Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City (early works); and
- Khalifa International Stadium (main contractor works).
The Al Wakrah stadium plans were unveiled last year. That facility will be used to host some 16 matches during the tournament.
The stadium, which was designed by AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects, is based on a dhow boat that Qataris traditionally used for pearl diving.
It is expected to be completed in 2018 – three years later than the original 2015 deadline.
Meanwhile, in June of this year, the organizing committee unveiled designs for a new stadium in Al Khor, which is modeled after a traditional tent used by nomads.
The “Al Bayt” stadium is expected to seat 60,000 spectators and serve as one of the venues for the semi-finals. The facility will be located inside of a complex that has a hospital, mall and park, and is also scheduled to be completed by 2018.
Like the other stadiums, Al Bayt will have a modular design, with the top tier of seats being removed and donated to developing countries, cutting the seating capacity in half.
Meanwhile, organizers announced just last month that a contract had been awarded to refurbish Khalifa International Stadium, located in the Aspire Zone.
The job of refurbishing the nearly three-decade-old facility was given to a joint venture comprised of local contracting firm Midmac and a subsidiary of Belgium–headquartered Besix Group, Six Construct.
Constructed in 1976 and upgraded in 2005, Khalifa stadium is slated to receive a new roof as well as cooling technology.
The Supreme Committee said the stadium can currently accommodate 34,000 spectators when oriented for FIFA football and would be expanded to 45,000 seats.
Qatar originally proposed hosting the World Cup in 12 venues. However, only eight are required according to FIFA regulations.
The SCDL is expected to submit a proposal to FIFA by the end the year outlining what it believes would be an appropriate number of host venues, and the final number will be decided by the world football governing body’s executive committee in March 2015.