Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium

Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium 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 largest in the country, and is mostly used for football matches.


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 FC Petrolul Ploieşti, where Lebanon won 1-0 through a goal scored by Joseph Abou Murad. The stadium was completely demolished in the Israeli Invasion of 1982. 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.
Designed by Laceco Architects & Engineers, 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. In addition to a 600 square meter parking lot was built underneath the stadium and another 20,000 square meter lot outside. 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, ultra-modern 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. An indoors sports complex north to the stadium was built with a 3,300 strong spectator capacity for basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, which was scheduled to be completed by 1998.
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".
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 the Catalan side.
As of March 2020, the stadium is ranked 210th in the list of association football stadiums by capacity.