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Desert Adventure for Audience Systems


Audience Systems announced its latest major contract win this week, providing over 11,000 seats to the impressive King Abdullah Sports City near Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The contract, worth in excess of £1m, includes seating for a 10,000-seat multipurpose indoor arena and a 1,000-seat athletics stadium.


The venues are part of a major new sports complex, currently rising out of the desert. The development also includes a 60,000-seat football stadium, outdoor training and playing facilities, and a mosque. Designed by Arup and Arup Associates, Sports City is intended to help boost sports participation among Saudi citizens, as well as to host national and international events.


The majority of the seating, both in the indoor arena and outside in the athletics stadium, will be Audience Systems’ robust and stylish Zenith blow moulded chair. The chair has a great pedigree at multipurpose venues, with for example 12,500 used since 2005 at Wembley Arena UK, 5,300 in operation at Kaohsiung Dome in Taiwan, and 3,300 just installed at the brand new Singapore Sports Hub. Zenith conforms to the toughest European chair strength test (EN 12727:2000 level 4).


Audience Systems is also installing plastic and upholstered chairs from its versatile Espace range for VIP, media, press and companion seating areas. In the indoor arena, almost 1,900 seats will be mounted on retractable platforms to give the venue the flexibility it needs to host a wide variety of sports.


Audience Systems will be working with main contractor Hyundai El Seif for Saudi Arabia’s largest client, Saudi Aramco, who are implementing the project on behalf of His Royal Highness King Abdullah. The seats will be manufactured in the spring and installed over the summer, ready for the venues’ opening in early autumn.