Local organizers say they’ve awarded a contract to redevelop Al Rayyan Stadium for the 2022 World Cup, giving local residents another glimpse into Qatar’s plans for the tournament venues.
An image released by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is readying the country for the World Cup, shows Al Rayyan Stadium wrapped in a massive digital display board that can show scores, photographs and other information.
However, a spokesperson said the rendering was what was envisioned as part of Qatar’s bid for the tournament and, like the vision for the Al Wakrah Stadium, may change as the contractors prepare detailed design work.
Those final plans, as well as construction timelines and information on how games and training at Al Rayyan Stadium would be affected, will be released in the coming weeks, the spokesperson said.
Al Rayyan is the second stadium that Qatar has announced will be a World Cup venue, with Al Wakrah’s facilities coming in three years behind schedule. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee, previously said some five tournament stadiums would be in various stages of construction by the end of 2014.
“We are rapidly making progress, well on schedule to deliver all stadia long before fans arrive,” in 2022, Al Thawadi said in a statement.
The redevelopment will increase the capacity of Al Rayyan Stadium to 40,000 from slightly less than 22,000 spectators. This will be done primarily through the addition of a modular top tier that will be disassembled after the tournament and used to build football facilities in developing countries.
Contractors will be responsible for incorporating cooling technology that will bring the temperature on the natural grass pitch to 26C. The spectator stands are expected to be kept between 24 and 28C.
The companies involved in the Al Rayyan Stadium redevelopment include project manager AECOM – which also helped design the planned Al Wakrah Stadium – and design consultant Ramboll.
The committee spokesperson said neither the contract values or stadium budgets would be released until all contracts had been tendered.
A statement released by the Supreme Committee highlighted that all firms working on the Al Rayyan Stadium project would be required to incorporate its workers’ welfare standards.
The treatment of construction workers has been a topic of much scrutiny for Qatar, and this week local organizers will deliver a presentation to FIFA on what steps the county is taking to improve labor conditions here.
When Qatar bid for the games, organizers proposed readying a total of 12 stadiums for the World Cup. That included renovations to Al Gharafa, Al Rayyan and Khalifa International stadiums as well as constructing new facilities at Al Khor, Al Shamal, Al Wakrah, Doha Port, Education City, Lusail, Qatar University, Sports City and Umm Slal.
However, that list could be pared down by FIFA’s executive committee when it decides on the final list of host venues sometime after this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
All stadiums are expected to be completed by 2020, a committee spokesperson previously told Doha News.