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With the 2022 World Cup due to kick off in just under 2 years time, expectations are already rising for what promises to be another classic event. Of course, the 2022 World Cup is due to take place in Qatar, which is already one unique factor of the event. On top of that, it’s actually the first time that the event will be held in November/December, mainly due to the sheer heat of Qatar during the regular summer months. And since it will be played in Qatar, as you might imagine, there are some spectacular stadiums lined up to host the matches.
This is actually what we’d like to look at in more detail right here, to highlight just how awesome these stadiums promise to be. All of the World Cup 2022 stadiums have their own bit of flair too, and we are pretty excited to share this information with you. So without further ado, let’s get started with stadium number one.
Al Khor – Al Bayt Stadium
This is the stadium that will host the World Cup opening ceremony, for which the stadium is expected to be absolutely packed out – with 60,000 people in attendance! In previous World Cup events, the opening ceremony is generally pretty spectacular, and we expect that this one will be no different. At the time of writing, the stadium has actually been finished for only a matter of weeks, and there are a few unique design elements to this one. For starters, this is classified as a ‘green stadium’, meaning that it is friendly to the environment, especially compared to other stadiums around the world. To add to this, the design appears to follow a somewhat seashell appearance, which makes it rather unique too.
Of course, we expected that many of the World Cup 2022 grounds would have some interesting designs, and we must say, we actually quite like this one! Currently, the stadium is the home of the Qatar national team, so as you might have guessed, this will be the location for the opening game involving Qatar. But it’s not just the opening game that this stadium will host, as the stadium will actually have 5 group matches played there, along with several knockout games – including the semi-final! Sure enough, we expect there to be plenty of entertainment taking place between those walls, and with 60,000 fans, we expect the volume to be pretty impressive too.
Lusail – Lusail Stadium
If you thought that the 60,000 capacity was impressive at the Al Bayt Stadium, you’ll be more impressed with the 80,000 that Lusail Stadium can hold. Out of all of the Qatar 2022 stadiums, this one is actually the largest in terms of the overall capacity. This in itself is certainly a huge feat for the designers, but there is more too. When looking from the outside, the Lusail Stadium reflects the sunlight with shimmering gold, and the oval shape of the stadium with differing heights around the circumference is equally as stunning. If that wasn’t enough, the whole stadium is engulfed by a circle of water which makes the stadium shine even more.
This stadium is also purpose-built for the unlikely event of bad weather, as the roof is retractable (should this be necessary). To highlight the sheer size of this construction project, the development started in April of 2017 and it has yet to be finished! With that said, things are definitely on track for the stadium to be finished in time, as everything should be wrapped up by May of 2021. And on that note, out of all the World Cup 2022 grounds, we must admit that this is one of the best from an esthetic standpoint.
Al Wakrah – Al Janoub Stadium
Once again, the architects behind this one have done an unreal job. When looking from above, the Al Janoub Stadium looks more like a sail-boat rather than a football stadium, as the external features are smooth and they follow a very slick design. And out of the other stadiums that will be used during the World Cup, this one was completed super early. It has now been standing there since May 2019 – in all its glory! When the World Cup does finally kick-off too, this one will play host to 6 different matches, including 5 group matches and 1 knockout game. With a 40,000 capacity, we are certain that the Al Janoub Stadium will prove to be fairly lively!
In terms of the designers, this one was masterminded by an Iraqi-British architect by the name of Zaha Hadid. Of course, once these designs were drawn up, the responsibility fell on the construction company themselves – AECOM. When looking at photos of this stadium, one cannot deny that they have done a simply exceptional job of building the stadium to be as beautiful as possible. We also expect that the stadium will be all the more impressive once it is lit up at night and full of fans – but we will all have to wait for the privilege of witnessing this.
Al Rayyan – Khalifa International Stadium
This is actually one of three Qatar stadiums that have been built in the Al Rayyan region, but believe it or not, the stadium has been around since the 1970s. Then again, as you’d expect, this one received a major overhaul for the upcoming event, with major changes being made back in 2017. Currently, the Khalifa International Stadium can host more than 45,000 spectators, and thanks to these major changes, it is actually the very first stadium in the whole world to be awarded 4-stars from GSAS. This in itself is rather considerable, and it definitely makes it one of the better World Cup 2022 grounds to take note of.
As it happens, this stadium is no stranger to high-end football action, as it has previously been the host of tournaments such as the 2011 Pan Arab Games. And now, ahead of next year’s competition, the stadium will once again host high-end action in the form of 7 different World Cup games. Arguably, the one with the most prestige will be the game for third place, but who knows who will be involved in this game? Either way, we expect there to be an awesome atmosphere in there, and even if you can’t attend, you’ll still get to see this stadium in all its glory on TV!
Al Rayyan – Al Rayyan Stadium
This is the one and only stadium that will be made available in Al Rayyan for the World Cup, and this isn't all that makes it unique! For starters, the previous Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium has been demolished to pave the way for this one, with over 90% of the rubble from this demolition expected to be used to build the new one – talk about utilizing resources! Following this demolition job, it would be fair to say that the stadium has seen some rather extravagant improvements. When you see the stadium today, it has a solid metal casing around the entire venue, not to mention that the capacity has been doubled to now support more than 40,000 spectators.
With that said, we don’t feel that this one has received quite the same injection of cash as some of the other ones, which is probably why the rubble of the previous stadium is being re-used. However, there is still no denying that this stadium is pleasant to look at, especially from inside the grounds where there are a ton of lights and great seating facilities.
Doha – Ras Abu Aboud
From the various World Cup 2022 grounds discussed here, the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is definitely one of the more ambitious ones. Believe it or not, this stadium is supposedly being built entirely from recycled shipping containers, which does somewhat keep in line with the theme of Qatar making all of the stadiums as ‘green’ as possible. Of course, this is no small task, which is why the stadium is still not completed at the time of writing. But to make things more impressive at Ras Abu Aboud, the stadium is expected to support 40,000 spectators – despite the fact that there are no continuation plans for the stadium beyond the 2022 event.
Then again, this might change in the future, but for now, these are the plans and ambitions for the stadium. Of course, this one (like the others) will host a range of group games combined with one knock-out game, so there will be plenty of football going down at this venue.
Al Rayyan – Education City Stadium
The third stadium from Al Rayyan is the Education City Stadium, which has already been finished as of June last year. Sure enough, this one was built in record time, especially since there were plans to use the stadium for other competitions before the World Cup started. Just like all of the other World Cup 2022 stadiums, this was a multi-million dollar project, but when looking at photos, it would be fair to say that the ultimate outcome reflects the price tag. This stadium is simply breathtaking, and it screams all of the glitz and glamour that Qatar has become famous for over the years.
At the time of writing, the stadium reports that the potential capacity will be more than 40,000, which should allow ample spectators to come and enjoy the action. However, like many of the other stadiums we’ve talked about here, this capacity will then be drastically reduced following the conclusion of the World Cup. We’d imagine that this is the case in order to maximize revenue from the massive event, especially since the stadium is expected to host one of the quarter-final games!
Doha – Al Thumama Stadium
And finally, the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha is another one that will host a total of 7 World Cup games next year. Naturally, this includes 5 regular group games and 2 knock-out games, of which the stadium is expected to see spectators in excess of 40,000. Sure, this doesn’t make it one of the larger grounds for the games, but this by no means diminishes the overall appeal of the stadium. Like some of the others on this list, Al Thumama Stadium is yet to be completed, although the more recent reports suggest that the finishing touches will be made at some point in 2021. Once it is finished, we expect to see a design that resembles one of the traditional hats in this part of the world, at least those are the intentions!
The construction company that has the contract for this one is also based in this part of the world, so we’d imagine that there is a better chance that the intended designs will indeed come to fruition. But since there aren’t too many updated images currently supported for Al Thumama, we cannot say for sure whether this will be the case. But if the other completed World Cup 2022 stadiums are anything to go by, we are sure that the ultimate outcome will be seriously impressive.
Fun Facts on these Qatar 2022 Stadiums
Now that we’ve run through the various World Cup 2022 stadiums, including what games they will host, their statistics, and more – let’s now hit you with some relatively unknown facts relating to these stadiums and the event itself.
3 of the 8 are still not finished
With the 2022 World Cup due to take place next year, there will no doubt be plenty of tension among the construction companies right now. The reason for this is because 3 of the 8 Qatar 2022 stadiums have yet to be finished, and the estimated completion deadlines are running pretty tight to the tournament start time. Then again, this isn’t the first time that a World Cup has had concerns over whether the grounds will be completed on time, and we’ve yet to see a host nation fall flat on their face to date. Of course, we’d hope that this stays true for the 2022 World Cup too.
Venues for knockout games are still undecided
Prior to a World Cup starting, the organizers would always announce which stadiums are scheduled to host which games. This makes it easy to get things sorted, sell tickets, and make any necessary arrangements. However, while the stadiums have received their individual schedules for the group games, the locations beyond this are still unknown. And amazingly, it’s proposed that the venues for all knockout games will only be announced at the completion of the group stage.
Likely to have more night matches than any other World Cup
This is somewhat of a rumour at the time of writing, but it’s something that both tournament organizers and participants are leaning towards. As you can imagine, the heat in this part of the world is rather intense, pretty much year-round. The tournament will already be the first to be held later in the year, but given the heat, we expect that the mentioned Qatar 2022 stadiums will host more night matches than any previous World Cup. As you can see from the facts above, all stadiums are equipped with floodlights, most have air conditioning, and some even have a retractable roof – which doubles up to help with climate control too.
Stadiums will relax alcohol consumption laws purely for the event
This was actually quite an intensely discussed topic with the relevant authorities behind the event. As you likely know, given that the World Cup is scheduled to be held in Asia, this is a predominantly Muslim part of the world. Here’s where the laws get a little sticky, as the consumption of alcohol is usually prohibited, keeping in line with Muslim religious beliefs. And as you’d expect, football fans who are travelling there don’t all share the same values regarding this topic. Recently, however, the Chief Executive behind Qatar’s World Cup bid announced that alcohol will be sold within the stadiums, purely for the tournament. With that said, drinking alcohol outside of the stadiums and/or in public is still against the law.
World Cup 2022 Grounds – Final Thoughts
It’s true that there are still a few stadiums to finish off ahead of the World Cup, but with Qatar being the nation that they are, we have no doubts that everything will be completed in time. With that said, all that’s left is to sit back and wait for the event to kick-off, and we definitely can’t wait to see what all of the World Cup 2022 stadiums will have in store, both for spectators and players. It’s definitely going to be a slightly different World Cup than what we have seen in the past, but different usually means more exciting!
And with millions of spectators (total) who could be in attendance for the World Cup, it’s going to be an event to remember, that’s for sure.