Construction on all of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadiums – including at least two whose locations have yet to be confirmed – will be completed in five years time, a senior member of the country’s organizing committee has said.
Nasser Al Khater, secretary-general of tournament operations for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, disclosed the organization’s internal deadline this week in an interview with Inside World Football in Berlin.
“We are looking to complete our stadiums by 2020,” Al Khater said. “We are happy with the progress.”
Khalifa Stadium will be the first World Cup facility to come online and will be ready for use in 2017, shortly after construction is finished in late 2016.
Approximately 90 percent of the concrete has been poured as part of the massive redevelopment of the 40-year-old facility. In addition to doubling its capacity to 40,000 spectators, the stadium’s iconic arch on its eastern end has been removed and will be replaced with two arches.
Other upgrades include providing shade to approximately 70 percent of the stadium with a fabric “tent” that’s currently being manufactured.
So far, Qatar has officially named six locations for World Cup venues, but only released the designs from four of them.
Architect firm Foster + Partners is working on the final concepts for the flagship stadium at Lusail City, which will host the opening ceremony and final match of the 2022 tournament.
Work is already underway on stadiums in Al Wakrah, Al Khor and Education City, which are being constructed from scratch for the tournament. Meanwhile, Al Rayyan is being razed and rebuilt to look like dunes in a desert.
Qatar made its bid on the basis of games on 12 sites, but it is expected to pare that number, with an official decision to be announced by the end of this year. FIFA requires at least eight venues to be used to host the 64 matches during the international tournament.