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Stadiums of the World Cup


As the world settles down to a whole month of international football, attention will be focused on 20 sparkling new sports stadia spread across Japan and South Korea. The product of billions of dollars of investment, most of these stadia were completed less than a year ago, and all but two are less than 18 months old. They are some of the most daring stadium designs of recent years, both technically and architecturally. In this Briefing we take a look at the 20 venues and focus on four of the most impressive

Sapporo Dome

The venue for England's match against Argentina on June 7, Sapporo Dome is one of the most advanced sports stadia in the world. Its 'hovering' pitch - a world first - allows the stadium to be used for both football and baseball. Resting on a cushion of air, about 75 mm off the ground, and with additional wheeled support, the pitch floats into the dome from the outdoor arena through a 90 m-wide moving wall.

Once inside, the pitch rotates 90 degrees and is ready for use. The operation takes between two and five hours. The pitch, 120 x 85 m, and 8,300 tonnes, has air constantly pumped into the void beneath it to keep it aloft. The VIP seating also rotates to ensure the best views.

Capacity: 42,831 (the minimum seating capacity permitted by the FIFA for World Cup matches) Roof: 53,000 sq m - the largest dome roof in Japan.

Structure: reinforced concrete and steel frame with ferroconcrete floors. Four floors above ground, two below Total area: 97,500 sq m Completed: May 2001

Seoul World Cup Stadium

The Seoul World Cup Stadium is the venue for the tournament's opening ceremony and the opening match between Senegal and title-holder France. It is Asia's largest purpose-built football stadium, covering a site of almost 220,000 sq m. The stadium was built on a reclaimed landfill site at Nanji-do, now re-named Sangam New Millennium City. The roof resembles a traditional Korean kite.

Total floor area: 150,784 sq m Construction period: October 1998-December 2001 Cost: £100 million Capacity: 63,930 Stand: precast concrete frame Substand: steel frame superstructure on reinforced in situ concrete base Roof: steel frame truss and tensile cable structure with PTFE-coated glass fibre canopy

Yokohama International Stadium

The venue for the World Cup final on June 30 and Japan's largest stadium. The upper tier overhangs the lower by 10 m, thereby reducing the distance between the seats and the pitch. The steel roof comprises a static section and a movable section and also collects rainwater for irrigating the pitch and flushing toilets. A third of the electricity consumed by the stadium is generated by the Tsuzuki waste-to-energy plant operated by Yokohama City's Environmental Services Bureau. The roof and walls are fitted with sound-absorbing panels and the lights are placed under the roof to minimise light pollution of the surrounding area.

Structure: precast pre-stressed concrete. Seven storeys (51.84 m) Total area: 171,186 sq m Cost: £320 million Construction period: January 1994-October 1997 Capacity: 72,370 (34,414 in first tier, 37,956 in second tier). Includes 147 seats for wheelchair users Track: 400 m, nine lanes. Urethane surface Pitch: 107 m x 73 m natural grass. Hot water pipes installed 300 mm below grass layer Roof: 146 m-long stainless steel covering 75 per cent of seating area

Saitama Stadium 2002

Japan's largest stadium exclusively for football has a capacity of 63,700. It is the venue for England's first match, against Sweden on June 2. It is the only Japanese sport stadium built to withstand earthquakes measuring 10 on the Richter Scale. It is also designed as an emergency disaster relief facility. Like Yokohama, Saitama harvests rainwater from its roof and also has a water purification system so the water can be drunk.

Solar panels on the roof can generate 8.5 kW of power, enough to supply the stadium offices.

Client: Saitama Super Arena Design: Nikken Sekkei/Ellerbe Becket/Flack+Kurtz Consulting Engineers Main contractor: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries/Taisei Construction/UDK Joint Venture Overall floor area: 132,310 sq m Cost: £500 million Completed: July 2001

For further information

The official FIFA website has all the information you could want about World Cup 2002. There's also information on each of the stadia and the host cities, with links to local websites at fifaworldcup. yahoo. com nStructurae, the International Database and Gallery of Structures, includes technical details of a large number of international sports stadia (although none of the World Cup 2002 stadia are represented). Visit: www.structurae. de/en/index. html

Panstadia is a leading specialist quarterly magazine dedicated to the design and construction of sports stadia. The website is at www.panstadia. com

Japan's other

Miyagi Stadium, Miyagi Capacity: 49,000 Completed: March 2000 Big Swan, Niigata Capacity: 42,300 Completed: March 2001 Prefectural Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki Capacity: 42,000 Completed: May 2001 Ogasayama Sports Park Stadium, Shizuoka Capacity: 50,600 Completed: March 2001 Nagai Stadium, Osaka Capacity: 45,400 Completed: May 1996 Misaki Stadium, Kobe Capacity: 42,000 Completed: October 2001 Oita Stadium, Oita Capacity: 43,000 Completed: March 2001 Korea's other stadiums Incheon Munhak Stadium, Incheon Capacity: 52,180 Completed: December 2001 Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon Capacity 43,200 Completed: May 2001 Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon Capacity: 40,400 Completed: September 2001 Busan Asiad Main Stadium, Busan Capacity: 56,000 Completed: July 2001 Gwangju World Cup Stadium, Gwangju Capacity: 42,880 Completed: September 2001 Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju Capacity: 42,000 Completed: September 2001 Jeju World Cup Stadium, Seogwipo Capacity: 42,200 Completed: December 2001 Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, Ulsan Capacity: 43,500 Completed: May 2001