Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha is one of the eight stadia that will host matches for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Located by the Old Airport, 12km from Al Corniche waterfront promenade, the stadium will seat 40,000 fans – and after the World Cup will donate 20,000 of those seats to developing countries.
Our role on the development of this facility was to provide the broadcast cabling infrastructure. One of the key considerations for our work has been to provide a solution that will allow broadcasters to use the stadium before and after the event, so we’ve shaped our design following input from local broadcasters Al Kass and beIN Sports, to complement FIFA’s World Cup match coverage requirement.
The system comprises multiple cable types, to ensure the stadium can cater for multiple broadcast options. This includes Triax, SMPTE hybrid fibre, video, audio and single-mode fibre cable, accessible through 80 wall boxes located around the facility. Most wall boxes are for match coverage, with the rest for interviews, arrivals, and other off-field activity. 170,644 metres (559,855 feet) of cable is being used in total, with the installation taking just over a year to complete.
Our biggest challenge has been to pull cables while the stadium is still a construction site, working around other contractors, waiting for services to be installed, and in high temperatures during the summer. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional complexity, as we work to finalise the installation while trying to keep every worker safe. As you can imagine, wearing masks and other PPE in extreme heat and humidity is a big challenge, but we’re still on track to complete the installation in the second half of 2021.