Design & Development

Construction set to commence on Grand Stade de Casablanca

A view of Casablanca

Featured image credit: you deal on Unsplash

Construction of the new 115,000-seat Grand Stade de Casablanca is expected to begin at the end of the month.

Karim Glaibi, a member of Casablanca City Council, has made the announcement, according to multiple Moroccan media outlets, stating that delivery of the stadium is due in 2028.

In March, a consortium led by local firm Oualalou + Choi, and including Populous, emerged victorious in a design competition for the Grand Stade de Casablanca, which is intended to be the focal point of Morocco’s co-hosting of the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

The selection by the National Agency for Public Facilities (ANEP), drew to a close a process that had initially seen a long list of 12 proposals selected. In December, it was announced that this field had been whittled down to a shortlist of seven bidders.

Morocco is planning on building the Grand Stade de Casablanca in Benslimane, around 38km from Casablanca, for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which it will co-host alongside Portugal and Spain. Three matches will also be held in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay during the tournament as part of FIFA’s plans to mark 100 years since the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay.

The conclusion of the design competition saw the Tarik Oualalou Architecte-led consortium come out on top in a ranking of five proposals. The ANEP committee recommended to project owner, the National Society for the Development and Management of Sports Facilities (Sonarges), that the Oualalou + Choi consortium be chosen for the stadium venture.

The Grand Stade de Casablanca has an estimated price tag of between MAD4.5bn (£354.7m/€422m/$450.6m) and MAD5bn, with the land selected covering a 100-hectare site. In October, it was revealed that Morocco is planning on building the new stadium in Benslimane, with six existing venues to undergo renovation work ahead of the 2030 World Cup.

Morocco is set to become the second African country to host a World Cup, after South Africa staged the 2010 edition. It was also announced in September that Morocco will stage the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025, with substantial stadium investment planned for the two tournaments.

A partnership has been agreed 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 the new stadium in Benslimane.

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.

The stadiums in question 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.

A budget of MAD9.5bn has been set aside to upgrade these stadiums between 2023 and 2025. A second round of upgrades will be carried out between 2025 and 2028 to bring them up to FIFA standards. The second round of upgrades will have a budget of between MAD4.5bn and MAD6bn.

Designs for Grand Stade de Casablanca have yet to be revealed.