In the years leading up to the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has been a hive of activity as it equips the host stadia with the infrastructure to accommodate such a large-scale and high-profile event. A key element of each stadium project has been to ensure that the broadcast and communications infrastructure is in place, which will enable broadcasters to quickly and easily produce and distribute content to billions of fans around the world.
Gravity Media was commissioned to do the cabling installation for Al-Bayt Stadium, one of eight stadia being used for the World Cup. Al-Bayt is a 60,000-seat arena that’s covered by a giant tent structure – said mimic the traditional Bedouin tent (Bayt Al Sha’ar), from which it also takes its name. Located in the northern city of Al-Khor, Al-Bayt has the honour of hosting the opening match of the tournament, as well as fixtures right through to the semi-finals.
The installation required a total of 300km (186 miles) of cable – 76km (47 miles) of Triax, 41km (25 miles) of 8-pair audio, 29km (18 miles) of 12-core fibre, 75km (47 miles) of SMPTE and 72km (45 miles) of video cable – enabling broadcasters to connect their outside broadcast trucks to 70 positions across the venue through multiple cable formats.
The job required us to pull cables of up to 600 metres in length at heights of 12 metres, meaning the 30-strong installation team all needed height training to ensure their comfort and safety. This, combined with the extremely hot conditions and the sheer length of the cable pulls, contributed to a challenging project that had to be carefully managed by our team of cabling experts.
Installing tactical fibre and SMPTE cable makes Al-Bayt compatible with the latest broadcast technology, which is particularly important for when the World Cup starts being aired live to around 200 countries globally. The cabling will also future-proof the stadium, ensuring that they have the infrastructure to deliver live broadcasts there for many years to come; the venue’s legacy will include tracks for running, cycling and horse riding.
We ran the project from our office in Doha, with our in-house team of cable experts working onsite to complete the installation.