Report: Qatar to reduce World Cup stadiums to eight as costs soar

Report: Qatar to reduce World Cup stadiums to eight as costs soar

FIFA World Cup

Report: Qatar to reduce World Cup stadiums to eight as costs soar

QatarStadiumAlGharafa1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Even Qatar isn’t immune to a financial crisis.

The oil-rich country has decided to reduce the amount of stadiums they plan to build from 12 to eight for the 2022 World Cup they were picked to host, according to a report from Doha. Qatar’s bid included plans to build nine new stadiums from scratch with a capacity of 40,000 or more and expand three current stadiums to add more seating and other improvements.

Ghanim Al Kuwari, the Qatar local organizing committee’s senior manager for projects, did not give a reason for cutting the planned stadium amount.

Reports recently stated that Qatar is expected to spend as much as $205 billion on infrastructure projects in the next eight years, including $34 billion on a rail and metro system, $7 billion for a marine port, and $17 billion for a new airport.

And while there was no official reason given, it’s believed that a shrinking in Qatar’s surplus (down by 1.4 percent) is the reason for the cost-cutting.

Bloomberg reports that work began late on the metro system and that the new airport is about six years behind schedule.

As recently as April 2013, the local organizing committee was negotiating with FIFA to reduce the stadiums from the originally planned 12 down to eight, according to a note sent to investors by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The note also stated that costs were expected to exceed the bank’s initial estimate of $95 billion.

In addition to building stadiums, Qatar are expected to construct 92 training sites for teams to use.

An e-mailed statement received by Bloomberg from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said, “As is the case with any FIFA World Cup, once a country is chosen as host, a review of the bid plans is made with the organizers to propose the final host cities and stadia projects, which then need to be approved by the FIFA Executive Committee. The requirement is a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 stadia.”

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