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Sports City spends big on new stadium

Dubai Sports City (DSC) has awarded the construction contract for the emirate’s US$80 million cricket stadium. The state-of-the-art facility, due for completion in early 2008, will be a joint venture between Alpine Bau Deutschland, and Belbadi Engineering (Alpine-Belbadi).

Dubai Sports City (DSC) has awarded the construction contract for the emirate’s US$80 million cricket stadium. The state-of-the-art facility, due for completion in early 2008, will be a joint venture between Alpine Bau Deutschland, and Belbadi Engineering (Alpine-Belbadi).

Work will begin immediately on the project, which will be one of the most advanced of its kind in the world — and an arena fit for the new home of the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The 25,000-seat stadium, which is expandable to 30,000, will have world-class facilities for players, match officials, VIPs, spectators and the media. It will also feature a striking roof structure based on the traditional Arabic tent framework, which should become a landmark throughout DSC and nearby Dubailand.

The ICC have been heavily involved throughout the design process, ensuring that the facilities match, and in most cases exceed, specifications required to host international cricket fixtures. The pitch itself will be conditioned by specialist, pre-qualified contractors, in line with ICC standards. “As I am sure you know, the Emirates Cricket Board is currently bidding for major international ICC cricket events, and the cricket stadium at DSC forms a central part of that bid,” said U. Balasubramaniam, CEO of DSC.

“Our ambition is for DSC to become a global centre of excellence for cricket,” he added. “We will not only have the best cricket stadium in the world, but we will also host the first ever ICC Global Cricket Academy, under the helm of Rodney Marsh as director of coaching.”

David Richardson, general manager, Cricket, at the ICC, paid tribute to the project and even compared the new venture to the traditional ‘home of cricket’, Lords cricket stadium in London.

“At its previous home in London, the ICC had a fantastic cricket ground — Lords —outside its office window, and it is good to know that when we move to DSC, there will once again be a great stadium next to our headquarters,” he said.

“This will become the centre of excellence for world cricket,” he continued, “bringing together the skills and facilities to allow cricketers including juniors, coaches, umpires, curators and administrators to develop their abilities.”

The stadium was designed by architects Gerkan, Marg und Partner, which has worked on a number of landmark sports arena projects across Europe. It is particularly known for its work on the reconstruction of the Berlin Olympic Stadium for this year's World Cup finals.

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