Organisers unveil the upgraded Khalifa International Stadium with revolutionary cooling system and ticketing programme to mark 365 days to go until the IAAF World Championships

The organising committee for next year’s IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, opened the doors to the upgraded Khalifa International Stadium in Aspire Zone on Thursday to celebrate the one year to go milestone.

The stadium, with its state-of-the-art sustainable cooling system, was showcased, while the ticketing programme was also unveiled for the event which will take place from September 27 to October 6.

“Today is a very important day in our readiness preparations,” said vice president and director general of the IAAF World Championships local organising committee and vice president of the IAAF, Dahlan Al Hamad.

“Ready to be gracious hosts. Ready to connect the world of athletics. Ready to inspire a new generation and ready to welcome athletes and fans from all corners of the world.

“Qatar is a young and ambitious nation. We hope that seeing is believing and as you can see today we are ready to deliver upon our promises, from our stadium to our airport, our infrastructure to accommodation and our world-famous hospitality.

“Everything is in place including a growing excitement and energy amongst the local community. In hosting the first ever IAAF World Athletics Championships in the Middle East, we have a shared vision and commitment in partnering with the IAAF, to grow participation of this wonderful sport across Qatar, the region and the world.

“To have such an ambition requires innovative, creative and bold thinking,” he added. “That is why an exciting new schedule exists with new formats. That’s why this stadium has cooling technology and why we want our young athletes and our local community to experience it live for themselves. That’s why we will introduce a midnight marathon. All these developments take imagination but stem from a single goal of enhancing athletics worldwide.”

The competition schedule, featuring the midnight marathon and 4x400m mixed relay, was revealed earlier this year.

On Thursday, visitors to the Khalifa International Stadium – which included 400m hurdler Abderrahman Samba and sprinter Mariam Farid – were able to experience the “revolutionary in-stadium air-conditioning technology” which organisers state “will guarantee optimal conditions for athletes and fans alike while also being sustainable”.

While the temperature outside the stadium was 37°C, inside the conditions were set to 24-26°C.

“The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certified stadium, which will also host 2022 FIFA World Cup matches, is ready to play host to the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in April 2019, the official test event for the IAAF World Athletics Championships later in the year,” organisers added.

Fans were encouraged to register their interest in tickets at iaafworldathleticschamps.com/doha2019/tickets to ensure they receive information, alerts and reminders for when tickets go on sale in November.

Ticket options include “traditional Arab cushioned Majlis seating”, finish line seats, “taster options” priced at 14 EURO / 60 QAR and family and group discounts.

Commenting on one year to go, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said: “Qatar has been hosting official IAAF events for over 21 years and in the organising committee we have a trusted partner who is committed to delivering a World Athletics Championship which makes a real difference to the world of athletics.

“With a year to go it is important the foundations are in place, so the final year can be spent testing facilities, systems and services. This is where we are now and there is a clear plan for testing.

“The fact that this is our first championship in the Middle East is hugely exciting. It means we can and should do things differently and provides an opportunity to reconsider what is possible in terms of new formats to appeal to spectators in the stadium or viewers around the world. We are encouraged by what we have seen over this last week and look forward to working with athletes, member federations and partners to deliver an outstanding World Athletics Championships one year from today.”

Speaking after experiencing the track and conditions, Samba said: “My heart is already racing, and the adrenaline is pumping just by standing on the track. To compete in a stadium of this significance in front of my family and nation will be amongst the greatest moments of my career.

“I’m also excited to show my fellow athletes from all corners of the world what we can offer in not only world-class hospitality and facilities, but also the talent we have coming through the ranks. In turn the world’s best will help myself and Team Qatar athletes inspire the next generation to take to the track for the first time – it will be a defining moment for all Team Qatar athletes.”