THE STADIUM

After obtaining the Notice of Recognition, the Administrative Board rented a barren land in the real estate No. 704 of the Ras Beirut district from the Syrian Real Estate Company, with an annual fee paid in advance, which was set at eighty pounds at that time. The land was full of gravel and rocks, so seamen and fishermen were hired to level it with dynamite, a procedure the latter would recur to in their work. After the club rented the vacant land, its administration worked to convert it into a legal football playfield, so it built one room with three showers and decided upon the following:

1 – Build a fence around three sides of the stadium, as the western side was secured. 
2 – Create a western stand for the stadium. 
3 – Create a second changing room for the visiting team. 
4 – Drag water for bathing. 

The cost, according to the study prepared by the engineer (Jean Bora), was two thousand nine hundred and fifty pounds.

In the midst of the club achievements in the seventies, the Nejmeh’s Administrative Board took a historic decision at its meeting held on July 30, 1981, entrusting the engineer Tarek Balaa with the design and supervision of the stadium project.
As the Club embarked upon the implementation of the construction works, the stadium project met with many obstacles, most notably in terms of planning restrictions in the Ras Beirut area, thus preventing the execution of the project.

Nejmeh then resorted to Prime Minister Shafiq Al-Wazzan. After listening to the complaint, the latter said: “This project must be completed. I shall do everything in my capacity to remove all the obstacles. I will exert my whole authority to remove all constraints preventing the implementation of your blessed undertaking – this construction must be completed for the sake of our children and future generations.”

Prime-Minister Shafiq Al-Wazzan fulfilled his promise, following up on the construction work through inquiry and review until the structure was erected. The Nejmeh Club will always remember the late Prime-Minister’s stand in support of that project. We shall never forget his good deed and his famous words: “While others are destroying, you are erecting!”

The project construction included a wall of reinforced concrete surrounding the entire stadium; the entrance into the latter went through three gates. On the four sides of the stadium were stands accommodating about 5000 spectators, while the west side was dedicated to offices and changing rooms.. Under the northern stands stood a wing for the players.

The field is paved with a layer of sandstone with a large network of ducts that absorb rainwater and dump it off the playground, thus keeping it clear of any swamps in the winter season.

The surface layer is from soil suitable for the growth of grass, which has already been planted three times: first in 1985 under the sponsorship of the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri; the second in 2003 under the Club President, Mr. Mohamed Fang; the third in 2007 under the current Club President, Mr. Mohamed Amin Daouk.

In 2005, the Administrative Body ascribed the name of late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri to the Club’s stadium, in commemoration of the latter and in recognition of his contributions to the Club and to Lebanese sports in general.