"Sammy Ofer" stadium - the new home Maccabi Haifa FC.
The new municipal football stadium built in Haifa, was named after the businessman Sammy Ofer, who contributed to its construction. Under an agreement signed between the partners to its establishing, is intended to replace Kiryat Eliezer Stadium that was built in 1955.
In the original plan the complex is called "Haifa Sports Campus" and it was originally intended to include training grounds, a multipurpose sports arena and a swimming pool, all next to an entertainment and shopping center. This current construction phase only includes the construction of the stadium and trade complex.
Among the various optional locations for the stadium, one proposal suggested constructing it within the area of the metropolitan park planned to be conducted at the mouth of the Kishon River. The new stadium was built on the southern slopes of Haifa, near MATAM, and it will contain 30,701 roofed seats, viewing boxes and fan clubs. All that compared to the 14,000 seats of the current stadium. Its construction is scheduled to begin during early 2009 and was postponed by one year following a decision to change the stadium's location a little closer to Route 4 The construction project is carried out by Haifa Economic Corporation. The design was carried out by the British architectural firm KSS Architects in collaboration with the Israeli architectural firm Mansfeld-Kehat.
The stadium's construction cost is estimated at 500 million NIS. The maximum roof height at the west side is 53.04 meters above sea level and at the East side 45.99 meters, and it is designed to meet the Class 4 requirements of UEFA.
Maccabi Haifa FC guided the planning and construction of the stadium starting from its program stage, with an emphasis on the design of the team's complex, which includes locker rooms, visiting family rooms, logistics, parking lots, coach rooms, interviews stands, advanced statistics room and a television studio, all purposed at serving the players and the professional staff at the highest level possible.
The design of this stadium is the first of its kind in Israel and it refers to the smallest details, such as the proximity of spectators to the pitch, feet space by the seats, the width of the seat, optimal viewing angle for the spectators, speakers distribution, the number of lavatories for women and men, access and seats for the disabled, rooms for the referees, drainage and water recycling systems, acoustic roofing and more. Unlike Kiryat Eliezer stadium this stadium shall not include an athletic track, thus setting the seats closer to the pitch while assuring better viewing and cheering conditions.
There is no doubt that the transition to "Sammy Ofer" would constitute an outstanding leap forward for the club itself and for its loyal supporters, who will be able to experience moments of happiness and excitement at the new home of the team.