The stadium is a centrepiece of the Qiddiya City project that aims to create an entertainment, gaming and sports hub in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia has unveiled designs for a hi-tech stadium atop a 200-metre high cliff near Riyadh where the kingdom plans to stage games at the 2034 World Cup. The 45,000-seat venue will be named Prince Mohammed bin Salman Stadium for the crown prince of the oil-rich kingdom that wants to become a major player in world sports over the next decade.
The design has a retractable roof and field, plus an LED wall with hundreds of metres of screens to create an immersive experience for fans, the Qiddiya Investment Company said in a statement. “The futuristic venue aims to reinvent the traditional stadium concept,” the QIC said. The stadium is a centrepiece of the Qiddiya City project that aims to create an entertainment, gaming and sports hub 45km (30 miles) from downtown Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The LED wall is designed to open out on to views of the city below, the QIC said.
The QIC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, which is chaired by the crown prince. It manages about $700 billion in Saudi sovereign wealth and includes investments in the LIV Golf project and English Premier League club Newcastle.
The giant construction projects in Saudi Arabia have raised concerns about their environmental impact, and the Qiddiya stadium is planned to have a lake built beneath it. “The lake will use rainwater capture from the stadium and the surrounding area to precool the air conditioning system,” the QIC said.
The architect attached to the new Saudi stadium project is Populous, which worked on Olympic stadiums in Australia and Russia and designed the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, that was purpose-built for NFL games as well as football matches.