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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Model stadium to be home for Doha Players


The Doha Showcase Stadium was designed by British based Arup Associates and constructed over a three-month period last year
Publish Date: Thursday,16 June, 2011, at 02:28 AM Doha Time
By Peter Townson
Staff Reporter

An external view of the stadium that is expected to become Doha Players’  permanent home. PICTURE:  Shemeer Rasheed
Doha Players’ mission to find a new permanent home may lead to them gaining use of the Doha Showcase Stadium, according to the group’s chairman, who said that the move could potentially go ahead by the end of the year.

The showcase stadium was constructed to demonstrate during Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup that technology could be employed to control high temperatures during matches, and having served its purpose it is currently lying unused.
The stadium was designed by British based Arup Associates and constructed over a three-month period last year.
The showcase’s groundbreaking solar power technology was designed to prove that energy can be used in carbon neutral ways to prevent summer temperatures from rendering impossible the hosting of sporting events in Qatar during this part of the year.
As the Showcase Stadium currently belongs to the 2022 Bid Committee, which is no longer in operation after the successful award of the tournament to Qatar, the Players are currently involved in negotiations with the authorities, aimed at providing them with a facility they have desperately needed since 2005.
Doha Players chairman Peter Phillips told Gulf Times that discussions on the matter are ongoing but expressed his hope that the move could take place towards the end of this year.
“It would be a major boost to the Doha Players – we really need our own facility and we have been working on getting one for many years now,” he said.
“It would make staging productions, organising live music shows and hosting other events much easier, and would mean that we could hold all our equipment, costumes and other kit in the same place,” added Phillips.
 At the moment, the group struggles to find rehearsal space and arenas in which to stage their performances.  They have been provided with a villa by Qatar Foundation, but the location does not allow them to stage major productions, which they aim to do three times a year.
The 500-seater stadium and the technology encompassed in its design were a major aspect of Qatar’s winning bid, and it seems fitting that they would become a significant part of community life as part of the bid’s legacy.
While any specific details remain unclear, officials suggest that the likelihood of the move continues to increase as discussions gain momentum.
Although Qatar Foundation was unable to comment on the move, a source confirmed that negotiations in this regard are in progress.