King Fahd Sports City, currently under renovation expected to open in 2026

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King Fahd Sports City
King Fahd Stadium Implementation © Schiattarella Associati

King Fahd Sports City is a multi-purpose stadium situated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was designed by Ian Fraser, John Roberts, Michael K.C. Cheah, and Partners. The stadium originally had a seating capacity of 58,398 spectators and was characterized by a massive, tent-like roof structure.

King Fahd International Stadium, designed by Schiattarella Associati. “The laid out series of rib vaults covering the stadium have a high iconographical value and already are the benchmark for Riyadh’s urban landscape.” said Amedeo Schiattarella and added, “Our proposal starts from the idea of solving the new fun­ctional requirements introducing shapes and volumes that not only are combined/integrated into the existing architec­ture but enhance the value of the Stadium itself.”

The roof was supported by enormous white, cantilevered arches, which created an image reminiscent of a traditional Bedouin tent. The stadium was built in 1987, but it is currently closed for reconstruction, which will expand the seating capacity to approximately 92,000 seats by 2026.

King Fahd Stadium Implementation © Schiattarella Associati

The King Fahd Sports City project also involves the construction of a new stadium to the north of Riyadh and the upgrade of five existing football stadiums. The stadium’s roof covered an area of 47,000 square feet and was held up by 24 columns arranged in a 247-meter diameter circle, creating an umbrella effect that shades spectators from the hot desert sun.

The Ministry of Sport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation submitted a bid book for the AFC Asian Cup 2027. Therefore, the projects are slated for completion before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

Also, another stadium in Saudi Arabia, Populous designed The Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium in Qiddiya City, the world’s first fully integrated venue with a retractable roof, pitch, and LED wall. It will host the region’s biggest sports events, including the Saudi King Cup, the Asian Cup, and possibly the 2034 Asian Games.

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