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Like magic: Qatar stadium capacity grows 12% overnight | World Cup 2022

Diameter world Cup Another strange development occurred Tuesday with its eight stadiums officially increasing their capacity by 12%.

Overnight, Home Stadium, which hosted the opener, rose from 60,000 to 68,895 in the pre-tournament guide to 68,895 on the day. Official Website – While the largest stadium, Lusail, moved from 80,000 to 88,966. This came after the fans were confused by the attendance exceeding the capacity of the stadium in each match.

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A source close to the organizers insisted that the original figures reflected FIFA’s requirements for stadiums of at least 80,000, 60,000 and 40,000 capacity. The Qataris have since found that the number of seats they need for broadcasting, media and sponsorship purposes has been lower than expected, so capacity increases.

The source added that Lusail can accommodate 92,000 spectators, ahead of broadcast and media requirements. Overall, the total capacities listed for the Qatar World Cup site increased from 380,000 to 426,221 on Tuesday.

A second mystery remains, however: why there appear to be so many more vacant seats than claimed in the official attendance figures. Official figures indicate that more than 88,000 people watched Saudi Arabia shocks Argentina at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday — less than a thousand shy of them — but pockets of available seats were visible all over the stadium.

The first and most likely explanation is that ticket holders did not show up. The biggest gaps in all matches – especially Monday’s underwhelming Senegal-Netherlands game – are those in the most expensive seats running sideways on the first two tiers. This may mean that sponsors or invited guests have chosen not to attend.

It is also possible that tickets are owned by local fans who are unable to hold the match. despite FIFA It confirmed that Qatar was among the countries that bought the largest share of the three million tickets available, and it was not surprising for a host country, as the exact number sold was not published.

This week, the Guardian interviewed a Qatari fan who said he had tickets for 20 matches. It was purchased using two separate FIFA accounts, an unauthorized practice, and he said the majority of his friends did the same. Finally, it is possible that foreign visitors, who had purchased tickets on the original ballot, chose not to travel.

Another possible explanation is the system used on the ground to sell or not sell returned tickets. The central office at DECC metro station in Doha’s West Bay provides continuous access to available match tickets. But the sales system doesn’t always display every match for sale, as most fixtures seem to be sold out until the digital screens are refreshed to show new options.

Empty seats in Senegal vs Holland on Monday
Empty seats in Senegal vs Holland on Monday. Photo: Dean Mhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Other potential factors include issues with digital ticketing systems, with “ticket settlement” centers being the site of large queues in the run-up to the Saudi Arabia and England matches.

However, the organizers certainly did talk about the number of people coming to the tournament – with FIFA President Gianni Infantino saying on Friday: “There will be three million people in the stands watching.” This claim is not always consistent with an eye test.

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