Gulf Times reports that the stadium, which will hold 40,000 football fans, has also been renamed from the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium to Stadium 974 to reflect the number of shipping containers used, as well as being the same number as Qatar’s international dialling code.
Residents in Qatar’s capital city have taken to calling it the Container Stadium, and despite controversies that have mired the 2022 World Cup due to the choice of hosts, it promises to be a tournament like no other, as well as being one of the greenest World Cups every hosted.
With exactly a year remaining for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to begin, Qatar has completed the construction work at all eight tournament venues. All eight venues are relatively close to each other, with the furthest distance between any two stadiums being almost 40 miles.
In Lusail, seven miles to the north of Doha, there is what could be the world’s largest building site, with a city as big as Leeds or Newcastle being built around the stadium which will hold 86,000 fans for the final, in a stadium dubbed ‘The Bathtub’ or ‘Noah’s Ark’.
Stadium 974 is the latest arena to be officially unveiled. The ground will host its first match on 30 November when the UAE take on Middle East rivals Syria on the opening day of the FIFA Arab Cup.
This new stadium is the seventh venue that is being completed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC). The other stadiums hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 include Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Education City, Ahmad Bin Ali, Al Bayt and Al Thumama.
Project manager Mohammed Al Atwan said: “It can be dismantled in full and transported to be built again in a different country, or you could build two 20,000-seater venues.”
The design of the arena is inspired by Doha’s identity and history as a major port city in the Middle East. The venue is located close to Doha Port and is across the West Bay skyline. The venue will host seven matches up to the Round of 16 during the FIFA World Cup 2022.
One ex-pat commented that unlike the Brazil World Cup in 2014, where poor people ended up paying for the tournament through tax increases, in Qatar, the poor people have seen their lives finically improved, with the introduction of a minimum wage.
“They still won’t be able to afford tickets for the matches though,” they said.
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC’s Secretary-General, said the committee was very proud to announce the completion of Stadium 974, which marks another important milestone on the road to the World Cup.
“We consider this innovative venue a game-changer for future mega-event hosts. It is another example of the powerful legacy our World Cup will leave,” he said.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place from November 21 to December 18.
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