Saudi Arabia has further elaborated on its stadium plans for the 2027 Asian Cup after winning hosting rights to the national team football tournament earlier this week.
The Kingdom further strengthened its position in the football market after it secured the Asian Cup at the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Congress on Wednesday. The landmark decision marks the first time Asian football’s showpiece event will be staged in Saudi Arabia, while it also reinforces the Middle East’s recent stronghold on the competition. Saudi Arabia’s staging in 2027 will mean the region will have held four out of the past five Asian Cups.
The Saudi bid plan foresees the Asian Cup taking place in eight main stadia across the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. A new stadium in each of the three cities will be part of the plan.
King Fahd Stadium (Riyadh), Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium (Riyadh), Prince Muhammad Bin Fahd Stadium (Dammam) and Prince Saud City Bin Jalawi Stadium (Khobar) are also set for significant redevelopment, according to the organisers, who had set out the prospect of 10 stadia being utilised in their bid book.
In the capital, the new Riyadh Stadium will be located “steps away” from a metro station and will have a 22,500 capacity that will have the flexibility of adjusting, according to the state-affiliated al-Ekhbariya channel.
Although located some 22km away, the new 40,000-capacity Qiddiya Stadium is included as one of Riyadh’s venues. Part of the vast Qiddiya scheme currently being developed, organisers say it will be one of the “masterpieces” that Saudi 2027 will provide to Asia.
King Fahd Stadium will be redeveloped with the removal of its athletics track and more seats added, bringing it up to an 80,000 capacity. Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium will also undergo renovation work, with its running track also removed and capacity set at 44,500.
The new Dammam Stadium, with a capacity of 40,000, will be designed with the region’s environment, the fan experience and “aesthetic satisfaction” in mind, according to organisers.
Prince Muhammad Bin Fahd Stadium will see its athletics track removed and capacity increased to 30,000, while Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium will be completely overhauled to a 22,000 capacity.
The Red Sea city will host games in two of its stadia. King Abdullah Sports City Stadium and Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium will have a capacity of 59,000 and 27,000, respectively. Details of its new stadium are yet to be specified.