The Saudi Professional League has succeeded in breaking the fan attendance record in local stadiums over the last few years.
Last season, the number of fans attending matches exceeded 10 million for the first time in the history of the league, a huge number in the Middle East.
The number of attendees says a lot about the passion Saudi fans have for their football clubs.
It is also worth mentioning that Saudi families were allowed access stadiums for the first time two years ago, increasing the excitement for the clubs and players they support.
The General Sports Authority (GSA) provided a wide range of services and facilities to help modernise the environment of Saudi stadiums, and also enhance the stadium experience for fans.
Additionally, the increase in audience numbers of the games required a lot of development at the stadium, including sports facilities and tracks, which were enhanced.
Entrances and pathways were allocated for disabled, changing rooms for the players were upgraded, media centres and the press conference room of the stadiums all were improved.
The GSA made a huge effort in making radical changes to the interior building and infrastructure of the stadiums, to bring them in line in with the highest international standards.
Fresh asphalt in the streets, lighting, the warm-up rooms, and building insulation were all enhanced through the first phase of development of a group of stadiums, which include Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, King Fahd International Stadium, King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Qassim, and Prince Abdullah Bin Jalawi Sports City in Al- Hasa.
The GSA has also initiated an electronic ticket platform, which allowed fans to get their tickets as they become available. Each ticket is linked with a specific seat and parking bay for visitors.
This electronic platform is an intelligent way to manage crowds, since the electronic gates include barcode readers, preventing overcrowded queues.
The five main stadiums were fully equipped with 284 electronic gates, and the other stadiums were provided with barcode readers for electronic tickets in preparation of the installation of electronic gates at a later stage.
All staff are unified under the theme of ‘Saudi Stadiums’, as the GSA looks to improve all points of sale, including restaurants and coffee shops.
Many interior and external designs were developed, as well as the process of speeding up selling points via a mobile app, which takes fan orders and deliver them directly to the fans in their seats.
The stadium-going fans loved the improvements, as the GSA also allocated promotional prizes worth SR35 million.
A fully-equipped football stadium with an attractive and integrated environment reflects the vibrant game and the strong role that fans play.