Work on the new 100,000-seat mega stadium in Jeddah will start shortly after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ordered it should be built near the city’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.
“The king wants to establish the proposed stadium in a place close to Jeddah and near the airport, as well as to expand Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in the city,” said Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, head of the Youth Welfare Presidency.
Speaking to reporters after the final match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli for the King’s Cup, Prince Faisal said work on the two projects would start as quickly as possible. He said architects were working on the new stadium’s design.
“We’ll give top priority to this new stadium project,” the prince told reporters. The stadium is part of the King Abdullah Sports City that will have a specialist hospital, indoor stadiums and youth hostels.
King Abdullah approved the project in February 2009 when then Jeddah Mayor Adel Fakeih said the new facility would boost sports and youth activities in the Kingdom.
“King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah will be a huge cultural landmark and a symbol of comprehensive development in the Kingdom,” said Fakeih, who is now the minister of labor. He added that the sports city would allow the Kingdom to host major Arab and international sports events, according to "Arab news" newspaper.
Prince Nawaf said expansion work on Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium would start immediately to accommodate as many spectators as possible. “It will give priority to safety,” he added.
He thanked King Abdullah for his gesture to enhance sports facilities in the Kingdom. He underscored the remarkable progress and standard achieved by Saudi soccer. Prince Nawaf spoke about his department’s efforts to train and employ qualified Saudis in various important positions. “A group of Saudis have obtained master’s degrees in various sports-related specializations and met with King Abdullah. We want Saudis to specialize not only in administrative matters but also in technical matters, in sports media, sports law, etc.,” he said.