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26 Feb 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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08 Feb 2024

Populous reveals plans for major e-sports arena in Saudi Arabia
BY Rebecca Skeel

The e-sports arena will have haptic seats and immersive screens

The e-sports arena will have haptic seats and immersive screens
photo: Populous

Populous have unveiled their plans for a state-of-the-art e-sports arena, designed to stand as a central landmark in Qiddaya City’s gaming and e-sports district, Saudi Arabia.

The 5,155-seat venue will be designed to accommodate multiple experiences that prioritise players and spectators, as well as hosting both national and international esports events.

The stadium will include the largest combined total video screen area of any esports arena in the world, with 4D haptic seats and state-of-the-art AV systems that allow visitors to sense, feel, and smell the action happening in the game in front of them.

Populous have utilised extensive sightline studies and parametric design tools to ensure optimal screen and seating configuration resulting in the creation of the innovative ‘digital chandelier’ - a suspended array of screens in the main seating bowl.

With a design ethos centred on creating a fantasy world for domestic and international fans, the stadium will include a carefully crafted general admission area with additional gaming, retail, and hospitality spaces.

Plans are for many of these spaces to be accessible both before an event and fully on non-event days, extending the operation of the venue and driving its integration into the community.

"We're proud to have been able to combine our knowledge of esports facilities and technology with Qiddiya’s vision to create a world-leading arena for competitors and fans alike," said Rhys Courtney, senior principal at Populous EMEA. "This arena will be unique in esports in both scale and user experience."

Qiddiya City will be completed by 2030 with a projected capacity for 600,000 residents spread over an area of 360 square km.

It will house FIFA-ready football stadiums, a race track, its own Six Flags theme park and an e-sports district.

Qiddiya City has been described as “a super city purely focused on sports, leisure and entertainment” and is part of the nation's ambition to diversify its economy away from oil exports by the end of the decade.

Populus is the architecture studio responsible for The London Olympic Stadium and some of the most advanced esports facilities in the world, including Esports Stadium Arlington and the NBA 2K League Broadcast Arena.



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