Khalifa Stadium to host Emir Cup final after redevelopment
Construction works have been completed on Qatar's historic Khalifa International Stadium and the venue has been announced by the Qatar Football Association (QFA) as the host venue for the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday, 19 May. The stadium will be inaugurated at 18:30, 30 minutes before the clash between traditional rivals Al Rayyan S.C. and Al Sadd S.C.
"We are pleased to announce that Khalifa International Stadium will host the final of the 2017 Emir Cup between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd on Friday evening," said QFA President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani. "This historic venue is close to Qatari hearts, and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since 1976. It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodeled stadium. The venue will also host the opening game and Final of the Gulf Cup this December in Doha."
Khalifa International Stadium has undergone extensive renovation works ahead of hosting matches up to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, as well as the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships. New features are in full compliance with FIFA requirements and include an additional seating stand on the eastern part of the stadium, the installation of innovative cooling technology to keep spectators and players alike comfortable throughout the year, and the construction of a sports museum within the venue.
"The completion of our first stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is an important milestone for Qatar and reflects our commitment to delivering all of the proposed venues well in advance of the tournament," said H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
"This is a venue which holds a very special place in Qatar's sporting history, and over the years we have seen some of the greatest football players from Qatar and the region make their mark here as well as world stars. This renovated stadium features many of the innovative elements, such as the new cooling technology, which we promised during our bid. We are excited to see the players take to the pitch for the game, and to welcome fans to the renovated stadium this Friday for an exciting match-day experience."
The stadium will seat more than 40,000 spectators and will be completely cooled for the final, with an inauguration ceremony set to take place starting at 18:30 on Friday. A fan zone for the Emir Cup final will open at 15:30 on Friday and welcome spectators and families for a social evening which includes cultural programmes and a food festival. Located in the area in front of the east stand of the stadium, spectators will be able to enjoy activities and football games for children and adults alike until one hour before kick-off.
Within Khalifa International Stadium, a new viewing experience awaits the fans. The entire spectator area is now covered by a new roof, with an intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes having been put up to hold the 92 panels in place.
Meanwhile, Eng. Mansoor Al-Muhannadi, Khalifa International Stadium – Project Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, said: "We are very pleased to have completed this venue together with our partners at the SC, and it will be a proud moment for everyone in the team when the first ball is kicked on grass from our state-of-the-art turf nursery. Spectators will also be able to look forward to the spectacular LED lighting which has been installed and is a first for the region."
The stadium holds a special place in Qatar and the region's sporting history, hosting some of the most important local, regional and international sporting events since it was originally constructed in 1976. It has hosted the Gulf Cup on two occasions, as well as the FIFA World Youth Championships in 1995, the 2006 Doha Asian Games, the 2011 AFC Asian Cup final and international friendly matches between some of the top football teams in the world.
Tickets for the 2017 Emir Cup final are now on sale at Souq Waqif, Mall of Qatar, Landmark, Villaggio and Souq Waqif. Tickets will also be sold at Lagoona Mall from tomorrow onwards. Ticket prices are QR 30 and QR 50.