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Arena builds 15,000-seat stadium for Joshua v Ruiz II in Saudi Arabia

UK exhibitor and event contractor Arena has played a key role in setting up the stadium structure for the biggest boxing match of the year.

Arena completed the design and installation of the 15,000-seat Diriyah Arena and hospitality structure, ahead of the Joshua v Ruiz II heavyweight boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ on 7 December 2019.

Commissioned by the Saudi General Sports Authority, the bespoke arena was constructed in six weeks and is the single largest temporary seating structure that the company has built since the London 2012 Olympics.

The stadium features Arena’s Clearview™ seating system, which is both modular and demountable, designed specifically to maximise audience sightlines, mounted on a substructure provided by partner, PERI Group.

The arena will be reconfigured a number of times for the various events taking place as part of the month-long Diriyah Season.

As well as the main event area, Arena has designed and installed a 3,500sqm temporary hospitality structure complete with bespoke high specification interiors and furnishings. The luxurious building is designed to provide a premium experience for VIP guests and was constructed using Arena’s proprietary ASD structure, which offers a permanent look and feel.

The boxing bout is the first World Heavyweight Title fight in the Middle East, and just one of several big events taking place in the purpose-built arena until 21 December 2019.

A million people are expected to descend on the UNESCO heritage site, Diriyah, to attend these sports and entertainment events, including the Diriyah E-Prix, Diriyah Music Festival, and The Diriyah Tennis Cup.

Paul Berger, CEO for Arena Middle East & Asia, said: “It’s incredible what we’ve managed to achieve in just six weeks. We’re really proud of our UK and Middle East divisions, who have spent the last six weeks working with a team of 175 people to deliver a project of such scale and specification.

“We are one of the few companies that can offer a full turnkey solution for events of this size, from design and construction through to the luxurious high quality interiors and we are honoured to be involved in a part of history for the Diriyah season and this exciting series of mega events.”

Abdulaziz Baeshen, Director of the Diriyah Season, said: “A stunning setting requires a stunning stadium and Arena have delivered just that.”

Arena will supply event insfrastructure for other big exciting events across the globe, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dubai Expo 2020, the MLB London Series, and The Ryder Cup.

Arena's shares rose 1.4%, 2 December, valuing the company at £27.5m (US$35.7m), which is about half the estimated purse that Londoner Anthony Joshua is set to pick up for the title fight.

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