King Abdullah Sports City

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King Abdullah Sports City
KASC
Full name King Abdullah Sports City Stadium
Location North of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Coordinates Coordinates: 21°45′47.6″N 39°9′51″E / 21.763222°N 39.16417°E / 21.763222; 39.1641721°45′47.6″N 39°9′51″E / 21.763222°N 39.16417°E / 21.763222; 39.16417
Owner Saudi Aramco
Operator Saudi Aramco
Al Muhaidib Contracting Company[1]
BESIX[2]
Capacity 70000 (seated)
Record attendance 65,241(Al-Ittihad vs. Al-hilal,
Field size (3,000,000) square meter [3]
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Yes
Construction
Built 2012–2014
Opened May 1, 2014[4][5]
Construction cost $560 million
Tenants
Al-Ahli, Al-Ittihad
Website
http://www.kasc.com/

King Abdullah Sports City (Arabic: مدينة الملك عبدالله الرياضية), also nicknamed The Shining Jewel, in Arabic (al-Jawhara Al-Moshe'ah) (Arabic: الجوهرة المشعة) or simply The Jewel, in Arabic (al-Jawhara) (Arabic: الجوهرة), is a new multi-use stadium and sports city located 60 kilometers north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The City was named after Abdullah, King of Saudi Arabia when the stadium opened.[6]

The main stadium (King Abdullah International Stadium) is used for football, reaching a full capacity of 62,241 spectators. It is the biggest stadium in Jeddah, and the second biggest in Saudi Arabia, coming after Riyadh's King Fahd Stadium. Additionally, it is the 10th biggest stadium in the Arab world. Accompanying the innovative stadium are smaller sports venues surrounding the main stadium. It also hosts athletics and indoor sporting events in indoor arenas.

The bid for the construction was won by Saudi Aramco and the contractor for this project was a joint between Al Muhaidib Contracting Company & BESIX Construct.[7]

The contract for providing the stadium safety, security, traffic management and contingency plans was awarded to a UK Company, Crowd Management UK Limited who are also the lead security and traffic management consultants for The R&A who host The Open Championship annually. In addition to the written plans Crowd Management UK delivered a training course for key stadium operators at the Saudi Aramco training facility in Jeddah KSA.

The company also provided an independent evaluation of the performance of local staff and the event safety officer (provided by Sword Security) during the inaugural event at the KASC stadium. This led to a significant number of safety and security recommendations and the appointment of a dedicated Stadium Manager.

Background and construction[edit]

The idea of a new large stadium in the city of Jeddah was put and considered in the late 90s, and was always anticipated by Saudi soccer fans. In 2012, the new stadium's construction began. Before the stadium was launched officially in 2014, Jeddah's main stadium was Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, accommodating a capacity of 24,000 and hosting numerous great matches and events in Saudi football history throughout decades. The new stadium is considered to be one of the most major items coming out of Saudi football recently, and has been widely acclaimed and praised for its elegance.

Opening ceremony[edit]

Over 62,241 fans pack the stadium for the opening ceremony on May 1, 2014 (Al-Ahli SC vs. Al-Shabab)

The city opened officially on May 1, 2014 hosting the final of the 2014 King's Cup tournament between Jeddah's Al-Ahli SC and Riyadh's Al-Shabab.[8] In a hometown upset, Al-Shabab won 3-0, and were crowned their 3rd King's Cup championship.[9] The match was attended by then-King Abdullah, along with then-Crown Prince Salman and then-Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin.

For this Inaugural fixture safety and security plans were designed and implemented by Mr. Sol N'Jie and Mr. David Storr representing Sword Security, based in Ireland. Mr. Storr was the event safety officer.

Over 62,241 diverse fans filled the stadium. The tickets for the match were free, which resulted in many citizens resorting to black market, some even buying and selling tickets for as much as 2,500 Saudi Riyals. It was also reported that many fans were able to enter without any tickets and the capacity could not be accurately counted.

There were numerous casualties as a result of crowd disorder and flares and objects rained down on the playing surface when the opposing teams and officials emerged to inspect the playing surface. Saudi football enthusiasts have voiced their displeasure regarding this, and many believed that the event was unorganised.

After the match, a traditional Saudi Arabian festival was held on the pitch. During the ceremony, 10-year-old boy Faisal Al-Ghamdi presented a crystal ball to the King. He then received a gift from the King, a luxurious pen. In an interview following the ceremony, Al-Ghamdi told Okaz newspaper that "It was the most valuable gift I have received all my life." Al-Ghamdi said he was honored to be selected for this task and to greet the King. "It was one of my dreams to stand before Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. And with this, I’ve achieved it," he said. Al-Ghamdi was selected among 170 children for his part in the ceremony. The King of Saudi Arabia later gave a speech acknowledging his people, congratulating them, and saying that they "deserve so much more". The ceremony lasted an hour and a half and ended with fireworks. It was considered to be one of the greatest sports-related events in the history of Saudi Arabia. The music for the ceremony was composed by Max Herman.

Facilities[edit]

Outside the main stadium, the city has three separate football fields and four small indoor arenas also used for football. It also has six tennis courts, and a large indoor arena for sports and other purposes. The city also has a main mosque, and six separate smaller mosques. The city is also equipped with a comprehensive media center, in which spacious rooms are used to broadcast press conferences for players, coaches, and football personalities.

Tickets and seating capacity[edit]

The main stadium can fit up to more than 63,241 in attendance. Seats and stands are numbered and divided in a professional way. The lower section of the stadium (L) contains 38 blocks accommodating 631 seats per block with a total of 24,000 seats. The middle section (M) contains 48 blocks accommodating 500 seats per block with a total of 24,000 seats. The upper and smallest section (U) has 48 blocks accommodating 291 seats per block with a total of 14,000 seats. The stadium also holds hundreds of private seats and car parking spots reserved to those of special needs.

Ticket prices for events and matches vary between 30-45 Saudi Riyals for normal seats, and 300-1,500 Saudi Riyals for VIP seats. Ticketing system has evolved and is becoming well organised. In September 2014, an online ticketing website named MAKANI (Arabic: مكاني 'my place') was launched. It allowed citizens to book, pay, and formally print their tickets for matches and other events. It has received wide praise for being efficient and easy to use.

Records[edit]

59,026 fans attend the first local derby in the stadium between Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad on December 19, 2014.
As of May 13, 2016:
  • The first match held at the stadium was between Al-Ahli and Al-Shabab in the 2014 King's Cup final on May 1, 2014.
  • The first game win and championship win in the stadium was for Al-Shabab on May 1, 2014.
  • The biggest attendance was 62,241 fans in the opening ceremony between Al-Ahli and Al-Shabab on May 1, 2014.
  • The biggest attendance in the Saudi League was 60,134 fans in a match between Jeddah's Al-Ittihad and Riyadh's Al-Hilal on December 1, 2014. The match ended 0-0.
  • The biggest attending fans are Al-Ittihad's, who have a record-breaking 42,371 average (12 matches) in the 2014/2015 Saudi League alone. Al-Ahli fans come in second with an average of 34,089 per match (13 matches)
  • The first local derby was between Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad on December 19, 2014 in the Saudi League. The match ended 1-1, with over 59,026 fans in attendance.
  • The most wins in the stadium are for Al-Ahli, with 30 overall wins.
  • The most losses in the stadium are for Al-Ittihad, with 12 overall losses.
  • The most draws in the stadium are for Al-Ahli, with 9 overall draws.
  • The first goal scored at the stadium was for Al-Shabab's Fernando Menegazzo, from a penalty kick on May 1, 2014.
  • The first goal scored from open play was for Al-Shabab's Muhannad Assiri, on May 1, 2014.
  • The first hat-trick scored in the stadium was for Omar Al Soma, in a match against Hajer on August 16, 2014.
  • The first red card was endured by Al-Ahli's defender Aqil Balgeeth on May 1, 2014.
  • The biggest win for a home team was achieved twice by Al-Ahli, 6-1 vs. Hajer on August 16, 2014 and 5-0 vs. Al-Fateh on April 28, 2015, and once by Al-Ittihad, 5-0 vs. Hajer on December 10, 2015.
  • The heaviest defeat suffered by a home team was on May 8, 2016 when Al Ittihad lost 5-0 to Al-Nassr.
  • The biggest scoring was Al-Ittihad 6-2 Al-Raed on February 4, 2016.

List of matches[edit]

As of May 13, 2016:
No. Date Match Score Competition Attendance
1. 1 May 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Shabab 0–3 2014 King Cup of Champions Final 62,241
2. 13 August 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Fateh 1–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 58,896
3. 16 August 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Hajer 6–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 58,600
4. 12 September 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Orobah 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 43,744
5. 13 September 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Khaleej 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 19,626
6. 17 September 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Shabab 0–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 26,183
7. 10 October 2014 Saudi Arabia vs. Uruguay 1-1 Friendly 50,569
8. 14 October 2014 Saudi Arabia vs. Lebanon 1-1 Friendly 29,050
9. 17 October 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Khaleej 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 36,515
10. 18 October 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Nassr 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 60,010
11. 30 October 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Orobah 2–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 29,968
12. 31 October 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Hajer 0–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 47,300
13. 30 November 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Faisaly 1–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 12,938
14. 1 December 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Hilal 0–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 60,134
15. 12 December 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Shabab 0–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 38,153
16. 19 December 2014 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ittihad 1–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 59,026
17. 23 December 2014 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Hilal 2–3 (a.e.t.) 2014–15 Saudi Crown Prince Cup Round of 16 59,000
18. 9 February 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Nassr 2–1 2014–15 Saudi Crown Prince Cup Semi-Final 45,000
19. 17 February 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Qadsia 2–1 (a.e.t.) 2015 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off 34,028
20. 20 February 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Shoalah 3–2 2014-2015 Saudi League 59,731
21. 21 February 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Hilal 1-1 2014-2015 Saudi League 45,700
22. 4 March 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Nasaf Qarshi 2-1 2015 AFC Champions League group stage 19,855
23. 6 March 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Najran 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 47,026
24. 9 March 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Riyadh 4–0 2015 King Cup of Champions Round of 32 Unknown
25. 11 March 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Najran 2–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 28,358
26. 14 March 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Shoalah 3–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 17,004
27. 15 March 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Raed 3–1 2014-2015 Saudi League 32,760
28. 18 March 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Tractor Sazi 2–0 2015 AFC Champions League group stage 45,482
29. 25 March 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al Tai 3–0 2015 King Cup of Champions Round of 32 Unknown
30. 3 April 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Raed 1–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 48,763
31. 4 April 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Nassr 1–3 2014-2015 Saudi League 59,137
32. 21 April 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ahli Dubai 2–1 2015 AFC Champions League group stage 15,842
33. 27 April 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Taawon 4–3 2014-2015 Saudi League 13,095
34. 28 April 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Fateh 5–0 2014-2015 Saudi League 20,447
35. 2 May 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Qadisiyah 2–1 2015 King Cup of Champions Quarter-finals Unknown
36. 10 May 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Taawon 2-2 2014-2015 Saudi League 16,538
37. 15 May 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Ahli 1-1 2014-2015 Saudi League 42,832 (Al-Ittihad: ~29,000 - Al-Ahli: ~13,000)
38. 27 May 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Naft Tehran 2-1 [1] 2015 AFC Champions League Round of 16 (2nd leg) 35,488
39. 5 June 2015 Al-Hilal vs. Al-Nassr 1-1 (a.e.t.) 2015 King Cup of Champions Final Unknown
40. 3 September 2015 Saudi Arabia vs. Timor-Leste 7-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 11,000
41. 12 September 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Najran 2-1 2015-16 Crown Prince Cup Round of 16 Unknown
42. 18 September 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Wehda 2-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 29,049
43. 19 September 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Faisaly 1-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 30,482
44. 8 October 2015 Saudi Arabia vs. United Arab Emirates 2-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 32,482
45. 18 October 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Nassr 4-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 32,453
46. 23 October 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ettifaq 1-0 2015-16 Crown Prince Cup Quarter-finals Unknown
47. 30 October 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Hilal 4-3 2015-2016 Saudi League 59,037
48. 22 November 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Ahli 0-3 2015-2016 Saudi League 46,977
49. 26 November 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Faisaly 1-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 18,936
50. 3 December 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Hajer 1-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 29,592
51. 4 December 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Shabab 2-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 22,354
52. 10 December 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Hajer 5-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 11,530
53. 14 December 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Raed 3-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 14,974
54. 20 December 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Taawon 4-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 12,290
55. 24 December 2015 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Qadisiyah 2-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 16,413
56. 31 December 2015 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Ahli 0-1 2015-16 Crown Prince Cup Semi-finals Unknown
57. 23 January 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Tai 3-0 2016 Kings Cup Round of 32 Unknown
58. 25 January 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Riyadh 4-0 2016 Kings Cup Round of 32 Unknown
59. 28 January 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Taawon 2-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 23,989
60. 29 January 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Najran 1-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 21,225
61. 4 February 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Raed 6-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 16,029
62. 5 February 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Khaleej 1-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 16,282
63. 9 February 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Wehdat 2-1 2016 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off 58,555
64. 11 February 2016 Najran vs. Al-Nassr 4-3 2015-2016 Saudi League 6,421
65. 18 February 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Qadisiyah 1-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 34,044
66. 24 February 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Nasaf Qarshi 2-1 2016 AFC Champions League group stage 17,161
67. 27 February 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Najran 1-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 7,144
68. 1 March 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Lokomotiv Tashkent 1-1 2016 AFC Champions League group stage 37,671
69. 5 March 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Fateh 0-0 2015-2016 Saudi League 14,184
70. 6 March 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Shabab 3-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 24,101
71. 8 March 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Wehda 2-0 2016 Kings Cup Round of 16 Unknown
72. 12 March 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Wehda 0-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 21,556
73. 15 March 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Nasr 1-2 2016 AFC Champions League group stage 39,998
74. 24 March 2016 Saudi Arabia vs. Malaysia 2-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 34,839
75. 2 April 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ittihad 4-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 31,035
76. 5 April 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ain 1-2 2016 AFC Champions League group stage 13,608
77. 9 April 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Khaleej 4-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 1,787
78. 15 April 2016 Najran vs. Al-Hilal 2-3 2015-2016 Saudi League 18,777
79. 24 April 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Hilal 3-1 2015-2016 Saudi League 56,293
80. 30 April 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Nassr 1-3 2016 Kings Cup Semi-finals Unknown
81. 3 May 2016 Al-Ahli vs. El-Jaish 2-0 2016 AFC Champions League group stage 6,850
82. 8 May 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Nassr 0-5 2015-2016 Saudi League 3,970
83. 13 May 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Fateh 3-2 2015-2016 Saudi League 60,051
84. 14 May 2016 Najran vs. Al-Raed 3-3 2015-2016 Saudi League 409
85. 29 May 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Nassr 2-1 2016 Kings Cup Final 53,465
86. 23 September 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ittihad 1-1 2016-2017 Saudi League 49,732
87. 27 September 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Faisaly 2-1 2016-17 Crown Prince Cup Unknown
88. 28 September 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Qadisiyah 1-1 (a.e.t.) 2016-17 Crown Prince Cup Unknown
89. 6 October 2016 Saudi Arabia vs. Australia 2-2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 51,616
90. 11 October 2016 Saudi Arabia vs. United Arab Emirates 3-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 60,102
91. 14 October 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Taawon 3-1 2016-2017 Saudi League 17,571
92. 15 October 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Qadisiyah 2-0 2016-2017 Saudi League 14,388
93. 20 October 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Shabab 0-1 2016-2017 Saudi League 32,196
94. 29 October 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Khaleej 4–1 2016-2017 Saudi League 8,811
95. 3 November 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Batin 2–0 2016-2017 Saudi League 16,898
96. 4 November 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Wehda 4–0 2016-2017 Saudi League 17,923
97. 20 November 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Nassr 0–1 2016-2017 Saudi League 23,038
98. 25 November 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Hilal 1–2 2016-2017 Saudi League 51,659
99. 2 December 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Ettifaq 4–2 2016-2017 Saudi League 28,532
100. 9 December 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Raed 1–0 2016-2017 Saudi League 11,689
101. 17 December 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Fateh 3–2 2016-2017 Saudi League 22,094
102. 23 December 2016 Al-Ahli vs. Al-Ettifaq 4–1 2016-2017 Saudi League 14,743
103. 22 December 2016 Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Raed 3–2 2016-2017 Saudi League 32,800
1.^ Naft Tehran won 2-2 on away goals rule, as they defeated Al-Ahli 1-0 in Iran.

Gallery[edit]

A panorama overview of the King Abdullah Sports City on September 12, 2014 in a Saudi Professional League match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Orobah.
A panorama overview of the King Abdullah Sports City on September 12, 2014 in a Saudi Professional League match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Orobah.

References[edit]

External links[edit]