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U.S., Iraq Firms Win Bid To Build Basrah Sports Complex

BASRAH, Iraq -- Two U.S. construction firms and an Iraqi contractor have won a tender to design and build a multiple-venue sports complex in the Iraqi port city of Basrah, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Iraqi Youth and Sports Minister Jassim Muhammad Jaafar said that U.S. companies 360 Architecture and Newport Global have formed a joint venture with the Iraqi firm Abdullah Al-Jiburi Contracting to build a "sports township" in Basrah, Iraq's second-largest city.

Jaafar said the first phase of the project, estimated to cost some $450 million, includes a stadium with 65,000 seats, a smaller 10,000-seat facility linked to the stadium by a 100-meter tunnel, four training fields, and eight buildings to house visiting sports teams.

He added that the project is to be completed within 32 months, in time for the Gulf Cup soccer tournament to be hosted by Iraq in 2013.

Firms from Britain, China, France, Kuwait, Russia, and Turkey also bid for the project.