Morocco’s National Society for the Development and Management of Sports Facilities (Sonarges) has selected a shortlist of seven proposals for the development of a new football stadium near Casablanca.
Moroccan newspaper La Vie Éco reports that the bids are led by Archi Team & Partners, Agence Mohamed Fikri Benabdallah Architectes, Tarik Oualalou Architect, Groupe 3 Architectes, Hajji & El Ouali SNC Architecture Workshop, Charaf-Eddine Fqih Berrada Architect, and Jouad Khattabi.
All seven of the proposals feature support from other architecture firms and engineering companies. Populous is supporting the Tarik Oualalou Architect proposal, while Zaha Hadid International is part of the Jaouad Khattabi submission.
The seven groups have been whittled down from a longlist of 12. Gensler was reportedly among the architecture firms whose proposals did not make the shortlist.
Morocco is planning on building the new stadium in Benslimane, near Casablanca, for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which it will co-host alongside Portugal and Spain. Three matches will also be held in South America during the tournament as part of FIFA’s plans to mark 100 years since the inaugural tournament in Uruguay.
A partnership has been signed between the Moroccan Government and the country’s Deposit and Management Fund (CDG) to finance a programme to upgrade stadiums in Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir, Marrakech and Fez, and build a new stadium in Benslimane.
The Benslimane stadium could have a capacity of up to 115,000. A 100-hectare site has been selected for the construction of the venue.
The project is part of King Mohammed VI’s vision to develop the country’s football infrastructure. The six upgraded stadiums would meet Confederation of African Football (CAF) standards by 2025 and FIFA standards by 2028. Morocco is also hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025.
The six venues set to be upgraded are Tangier’s Ibn Batouta Stadium, Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Ardar Stadium in Agadir, Stade de Marrakech, and the Fez Sports Complex.
The Benslimane stadium will be built between 2025 and 2028 at a cost of around MAD5bn (£392m/€457m/$494m). A budget of MAD9.5bn has been set aside for the first round of upgrades for the other six stadiums, with the second round of upgrades to have a budget of between MAD4.5bn and MAD6bn.