Futuristic 45,000-seat venue features retractable roof, pitch and LED wall

Populous has revealed its designs for a futuristic multi-functional stadium at Saudi Arabia’s Qiddya City urban entertainment district.

The 45,000-seat stadium is billed as being the world’s first “fully integrated” venue, with a combined retractable roof, pitch and LED wall.

Populous said the architectural innovation would offer unparalleled versatility and allow the space to transform into different “event modes” in a matter of hours.

The project team said the LED wall will be a portal to live event broadcasts, high-definition films and laser shows. When not activated, it will open to reveal views from the edge of the 200m-high Tuwaiq cliff, where the stadium will be located.

The stadium has been designed to be fully compliant with FIFA requirements for club and international competition. Once open, it will serve as the home ground of Saudi Pro League football clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium - Concert - ©Populous

Source: Populous

Populous’ proposals for the venue in concert mode.

It is one of the proposed venues for Saudi Arabia’s 2034 FIFA World Cup bid and will be named after Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the nation’s crown prince.

The stadium will also host esports – or competitive video-gaming, concerts and theatre performances. The project team said it will employ cutting-edge technology to provide fans with instant access to live data and information, as well as holographic “virtual interactions” with stars.

Populous has also designed an esports arena for Qiddiya City.

Populous senior principal and project lead Rhys Courtney said the stadium design team had been inspired by the project site’s clifftop location and the “play life” ethos of Qiddiya.

“The stadium exterior is formed by a collection of modular cubes that act as an extension of the Tuwaiq cliff, framed by portals that glimpse into the future of the city,” he said.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium - Exterior 1 - ©Populous

Source: Populous

“The stadium spans the height of the cliff to connect the upper plateau and the gaming and esports district, to the lower plateau and theme parks below.

“The cubes and portals spill down the cliff to create a massive digital canvas that interacts with users at different scales, from street-level vistas to the three-sided seating bowl experience, to citywide views–transcending the stadium typology.

“The central stadium is encircled by towers creating a 365-day mixed use sports and entertainment precinct forming hierarchies of space and activation. A covered, mixed-reality street runs between the stadium and surrounding towers to circulate fans and the public towards the phenomenal cliff-edge views over Qiddiya.”

Populous said the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium would have climate-controlled facilities that allowed it to host events year-round. It said energy consumption would be reduced through an eco-friendly cooling lake under the stadium that used rainwater to pre-cool the air conditioning system.