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Populous Reveals a Three-sided Stadium Perched on a Cliffside in Saudi Arabia

The architectural firm Populous has unveiled its design for the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia, intended as a proposed venue for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

This stadium, named after the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, will be situated in the Qiddiya entertainment district and will feature a retractable roof and pitch. Notably, one side of the stadium will incorporate a substantial retractable LED wall, serving as a dynamic platform for live events, films, and laser shows. Upon retraction, it will expose an opening that provides a breathtaking view of the 200-meter-high Tuwaiq cliff, enhancing the spectator experience from the three-sided seating surrounding the pitch.

Populous stated, “Anticipated to be the inaugural fully integrated venue featuring a unified retractable roof, pitch, and LED wall – an architectural breakthrough providing unprecedented flexibility, enabling rapid transformation into various event configurations within hours.”

The geometric venue, emerging from the cliffside in staggered blocks, will boast digital screens enveloping its exterior. This innovative design aims to create a visually striking structure. Adjacent to the stadium, towers housing sports and entertainment facilities will encircle the area. These towers will be linked by an internal street, also adorned with LED screens, guiding visitors to openings that offer captivating cliff-edge views.

“The cubes and portals cascade down the cliff, forming an expansive digital canvas that engages users at various scales. This interaction ranges from street-level perspectives to the immersive three-sided seating bowl experience, extending all the way to panoramic citywide views, thereby transcending the conventional stadium typology.”

As part of Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, Populous has meticulously designed a 45,000-seat stadium, adhering to FIFA’s specifications.

This venue is poised to serve as the home ground for Saudi Arabia’s professional league football clubs, Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr. However, beyond football, the stadium is primed to host an array of diverse events spanning sports, entertainment, and culture, encompassing boxing, esports, concerts, and theatrical performances.

Populous managing director Chris Lee expressed, “The Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium marks a significant advancement in stadium design, heralding a new era of digitally driven innovation. The incorporation of cutting-edge technology will not only facilitate extraordinary gaming and entertainment experiences but also redefine how fans engage with and relish the game of football itself.”