The team leading Qatarâ€™s bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup announced plans to build three futuristic carbon-neutral stadiums in the event the bid is successfulâ€”all air-conditioned to counter the emirateâ€™s searing summer heat and all able to be reconfigured and even reassembled elsewhere, including in other countries, after the event.
Two existing stadiums, Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa, would have their capacity expanded for the tournament by adding a modular upper tier.
The plans were announced at the Sport Accord convention in Dubai, a meeting of international sports federations; by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, chairman of the Qatar 2022 bid (and who played on Georgetown Universityâ€™s soccer team when he was a student in the U.S.)
â€œOur stadiums will have zero carbon cooling equipment utilizing solar technology to ensure the temperature is no higher than 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), ensuring optimum playing conditions and a comfortable environment for fans.â€
The proposed shaded, flat-pack new stadiums aim to overcome one of the main obstacles to Qatarâ€™s bid, the heat, which can average 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) in June, while also satisfying FIFAâ€™s requirement that host nations arenâ€™t left with white elephants after a World Cup but with usable local sports venues.
They also give a splashy boost to a bid that is gaining increasing attention among the nine contenders, but which once had little more going for it that it was an attempt to stage the World Cup in the Middle East for the first time.