Here’s a look at the eight stadiums that will be hosting games at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
Ahmad Bin Ali stadium in Umm Al Afaei, Qatar
Home to Al Rayyan SC, the stadium is named after Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani, a former emir of Qatar. A 12-year stadium on the same site was demolished and rebuilt, beginning in 2016, at more than double the original capacity for the World Cup. More than 80% of the rubble that resulted from the demolition work was reused either in the new stadium or in public art projects. Ahmad bin Ali will be the site of the U.S. group-play opener against Wales on Nov. 21.
Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar
The most distant stadium from Qatar, Al Bayt will host the World Cup opener Nov. 20 when Qatar plays Ecuador. Five days later the U.S. and England will meet there. The design and the black, white and red color scheme was inspired by the Bayt-al-Sha’ar, the mobile home tent of the Bedouin tribal people. One of two retractable-roof stadiums built for the World Cup, Al Bayt will have its top deck removed and donated to other countries after the tournament while the vacated space will be converted into a hotel, shopping mall, and sports facilities.
Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar
The southernmost stadium is another that honors Qatar’s culture and history, Al Janoub’s curvilinear postmodern and neo-futurist design invokes the sails of the traditional dhow boats used by pearl divers. The retractable roof is meant to resemble a sail and from the outside, the building’s appearances invoke upturned dhow hulls. A school, wedding hall, restaurants, retail establishments, and tracks for cycling and running are planned for the area around the stadium.
Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar
Near Doha’s international airport, Al Thumama’s design was inspired by the traditional Taqiyah, a short, woven cap of the kind Muslims believe was worn by the prophet Muhammad. A 12-acre square park is planned for the area surrounding the year-old stadium. The U.S. will play its final group-play game here against Iran. The stadium was the site of six matches during the 2021 Arab Cup, including the Qatar-Algeria semifinal.
Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar
The stadium, less than 6 ½ miles from Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, is adjacent to satellite campuses for several U.S. universities, including Georgetown, Northwestern, and Texas A&M. The facade of the stadium features triangles that form complex, diamond-like geometrical patterns which appear to change color with the sun’s movement across the sky. After the World Cup, more than 20,000 seats will be removed and the stadium will be used by university athletic teams. The stadium is considered one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable.
Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar
Qatar’s national stadium and the oldest of the World Cup venues, it was named for Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, a former emir of Qatar. The stadium was built for soccer but has undergone several renovations, allowing it to be used for Diamond League track and field competitions as well as the World Athletics Championships in 2019. The eastern side of the stadium has a large arch, which was used as a platform to launch fireworks during the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Asian Games.
Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar
The largest and newest stadium in Qatar, Lusail, about 15 miles north of Doha, will play host to 10 games, including the Dec. 18 final. It hosted its first event in September, the Lusail Super Cup game between club teams from Egypt and Saudi, an event marred by several logistical issues including water shortages, air conditioning and PA system failures, and massive lines to enter the nearby Metro station. The design reflects the traditional hand-crafted bowls found across the Arab and Islamic world while interplays of light mirror the fanar lanterns of the region.
Stadium 974 in the Ras Abu Aboud district of Doha, Qatar
The first temporary venue in World Cup history, this stadium will be completely dismantled after the tournament and its parts shipped to developing countries. Built on an artificial promontory along Doha’s waterfront, the modular stadium incorporates 974 recycled shipping containers, a paean to the site’s industrial history. The number 974 was intentional because it is the international dialing code for Qatar. Inside some of the shipping containers are amenities such as bathrooms and concession stands. Because its innovative design and waterfront location allows for natural ventilation, 974 is the only World Cup stadium without air conditioning.