The Mohammed V sports complex in Casablanca will be ready to open at the end of March 2017

While waiting and planning for the recommencement of the championship in February 2017, the delivery of the stadium Mohammed V was put on hold to settle some details of security.

After a break for a few weeks, the resumption of the championship is planned for the weekend on February 4. Moroccan clubs will, therefore, find their spectators, with the exception of two of them. It is the WAC and the Raja which, once again, will be required to seek a ground outside the city of Casablanca. And for good reason, the redevelopment of the stadium Mohammed V is still ongoing and the official opening has just been delayed.

According to the reports, the adjournment is primarily related to the security requirements, which included, among other things, the exterior layout of the stadium. According to the local development company handling the project, Casa Aménagement, they have received requests from the security services, in relation to the works that must imperatively be done before the opening. The local development company had registered this project in the second installment, which would only start after the opening, as explained by its director general.

From a security point of view, the authorities felt that as long as there is still work to be done, access should not be allowed to the public. According to Mohamed Dekkak, the developer must consider the safeness of the people who will be using the facility and to avoid future accidents around the area of the stadium. The company was requested to provide bridges to evacuate the public in case of a problem, from the stands to the lawn.

For its part, Casa Aménagement has proposed a prototype of bridges that can be easily deployed in case of emergency by the organizers.  They were asked for these passageways to be installed and fixed before the stadium opens.

On the other hand, the renovation of the interiors of the stadium is almost finished and it can be up and running within a week. According to the company, both screens and turnstiles at the stadium entrance are being installed. The Wali of the Casablanca-Settat region, as well as the presidents of the Casablanca clubs and the representatives of the federation, are all aware of the status of progress and they try to offer a beautiful stage to the public.

With regards to the amount of the budget, nothing will change, because the works for the security requirement that will be carried out before the opening is included in the initial envelope of 220 million Moroccan dirhams. At present, the rate of the utilization of the budget originally allocated for the project is less than 50%.

The dates for the opening that are circulating are not yet confirmed, and for now, the management is thinking if it will be ready for the end of March or even the first week of April. If the opening is will be set in April, the first phase will have taken just under 12 months. The second phase may be shorter, but at least the clubs will have a stage to welcome the public. According to the Managing Director of Casa Aménagement, since Casablanca is the home to the two biggest sports clubs in Morocco, they have tried to accelerate the pace and reduce working time, which is why they have pooled the renovation in two phases. There is a good chance then that the two clubs of the economic capital of the country return to their home stadiums before the end of the season.