Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium

Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium (CCSC) (Arabic: ملعب مدينة كميل شمعون الرياضية) is a multi-purpose stadium with a capacity of 49,500 seats, located in the Bir Hassan area of Beirut, Lebanon. The stadium, equipped with athletics facilities, is the largest in the country, and is mostly used for football matches.[1]

Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
ملعب مدينة كميل شمعون الرياضية
Sports City Stadium
The Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium during the Beirut derby in 2018
LocationBeirut, Lebanon
Coordinates33°52′02″N 35°29′46″E / 33.86722°N 35.49611°E / 33.86722; 35.49611
OwnerGovernment of Lebanon
OperatorLebanese Government
Field size102 x 70 meters
SurfaceGrass, concrete
Broke ground1955
Opened1957 (destroyed in 1982)
Construction costUS$ 100 million (150 billion Lebanese Pounds)
ArchitectLaceco Architects & Engineers
Lebanon national football team (1957–1982, 1997–present)

History edit

Camille Chamoun Stadium in 1982; it was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War.
Exterior view of the stadium in 2015

It was built in 1957 by the Lebanese Ministry of Youth & Fine Arts in the presidency of Camille Chamoun. The opening game was a friendly played against Energia Ploiești, where Lebanon won 1–0 through a goal scored by Joseph Abou Murad.[1] The stadium was completely demolished in the Israeli Invasion of 1982.[2] Consequently, former Lebanese PM Rafic Hariri initiated a project to rebuild the stadium in preparation for the 2000 AFC Asian Cup. The reconstruction received funding from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with respective contributions of 20 million and 5 million U.S. dollars. The other 75 million U.S. dollars were provided by the Lebanese government. The renovation process of the bordering "Pierre Gemayel Hall" was also included in the overall project.

Kvarner, the contracting company, said that 25 British and 115 Lebanese engineers toiled along with 850 Lebanese and Arab workers to rebuild the sports city that was originally inaugurated by the late president Camille Chamoun in 1957.

After the reconstruction, the stadium hosted the 1997 Pan Arab Games where the Lebanese president Elias Hrawi delivered an opening speech saying: "From Lebanon we say to the world; the Lebanese have returned to their heritage and unity, they have returned to build a Lebanon for heroes, youth and peace". The Lebanese PM also delivered a speech saying: "Construction won over destruction, and peace over war". Finally, the president of the Pan Arab Committee said: "This is a tournament of solidarity between the Lebanese people who have established credibility in their country and given rise to this great sporting event". "Bombs can destroy a city but can never shake the faith of believers".[3]

The stadium was also the main venue for the 1999 Arab Athletics Championships, the 2000 Asian Cup, and the sixth Jeux de la Francophonie held from September 27 to October 3 of 2009. On 27 April 2017, it hosted a Barcelona Legends vs Real Madrid Legends game, which ended 3–2 to Barcelona.[4]

The stadium was severely damaged to the 2020 Beirut explosion, and was made unavailable for sporting activities for the 2020–21 season.[5] On 26 October 2020, it was reported that the stadium was temporarily converted into a storage for flour and wheat, as the explosion also led to the collapse of the wheat storage building in Beirut.[5]

Structure edit

As of 3 January 2019[6]

The stadium spans 50,000 square meters of space with 77,000 square meters of covering roofs and seven kilometers of fences. A presidential gallery of 37 seats towers over the pitch, fenced off by bullet-proof glass.[citation needed]

The structure is capable of absorbing earthquakes up to 8.6 degree on the Richter scale. Moreover, administration offices, a complex for Lebanon’s Olympic committee and various other sports federations, press centers, clinics to handle emergencies among players and spectators with a parking lot for ambulances and fire engines, have been built beneath the stands.[7]

An indoors sports complex north to the stadium was built with a 3,300 spectator capacity for basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, which was scheduled to be completed by 1998.[citation needed]

  • Overall capacity: 49,500 spectators
  • Covered area: 12,000
  • Uncovered area: 43,000
  • Press stand: available (710)[citation needed]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Our History – Camille Chamoun Sports City". Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ Diab, Rami Abou (27 October 2020). "Camille Chamoun stadium: from International fame to a stock depot". FA Lebanon. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  3. ^ "The Eighth Pan Arab Games, An Outlook". Camille Chamoun Sports City. 12 July 1997. Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ "All Goals | Barcelona Legends 3-2 Real Madrid Legends – Camille Chamoun Sports City". Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b "بالصور: مدينة كميل شمعون الرياضية تتحول لمخزن قمح". كووورة. 26 October 2020. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  6. ^ "About CCSC – Camille Chamoun Sports City". Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Camille Chamoun Sports City". 30 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2019.

Bibliography edit

  • Inglis, Simon (2000). Sightlines: A Stadium Odyssey. Yellow Jersey. ISBN 0-224-05968-8.

External links edit

Preceded by AFC Asian Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by