Babil Stadium nears completion, Iraq mulls private investors



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Iraq Babil stadium

Nearly three years after it was launched, Iraq’s ambitious $100-million Babil Stadium is just 70 per cent complete.

A few years ago Iraq decided to put some of its oil money in a massive overhaul of its stadiums. The 30,000-capacity Babil Stadium was conceived as part of an 87 hectares plot project known as the Babil Sports City in Al Hillah town of Babil province, home to what is left of the ancient city of Babylon.

Being build by Spanish contractor Triarena, work on the project started in 2013 but was hampered in the last two years due to the turbulent political situation in the country.

In January 2015, Iraq’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Abdul-Hussain Abtan during a visit to the Babil Stadium, owned responsibility for the delays in the project. He admitted that “the presence of a large delay in the implementation is because of the ministry and not because of the executing company Triarena.” The minister also ordered the disbursement of funds at the time.

However, the fall in oil prices and a terrorist attack on a football stadium in Iskandariya, Babil province, has caused further delay to the stadium project.

The constant delays on several stadium projects due to one reason or the other have convinced top government officials to consider giving out some of the projects to private investors, according to a source in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Giving out details of the project, Triarena, in its official website states: “Besides building the fully covered stadium, we are constructing, as well, two training camps: the first one will be able to welcome 5.000 spectators whereas the second one will host 500 spectators,”

“The Babil Stadium consists of a grandstand, 100% covered with a series of support ‘modules’ and a service building in the area of the main grandstand. The main grandstand is positioned towards the west. The paving of the playing field is made of natural grass.”

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