- Stadium Merdeka
Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Broke ground 25 September 1956 Built 21 August 1957 Opened 30 August 1957 Renovated 31 August 1957 Owner Permodalan Nasional Bhd Operator Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka Surface Grass pitch, track Architect Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) Capacity 20,000 (Football) Tenants Formerly Malaysian national football team
Southeast Asian Games (1965, 1971, 1977)
The stadium, operated by Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka, was a venue for many major sporting events prior to its handover to the private company, such as the 1977 Southeast Asian Games and the annual Merdeka Football Tournament (Pesta Bola Merdeka). It also hosted the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner on July 1, 1975. It was also used as the venue for concerts.
The Stadium Negara and the Chin Woo Stadium are located nearby.
Stadium Merdeka was constructed from 25 September 1956 to 21 August 1957. It was the site of one of Malaysia's most historically significant events. On 31 August 1957, power was transferred from the British Empire to the newly independent Malayan government.a Tens of thousands of people crowded into the stadium, which was built specifically for this occasion. While the stadium is an important part of Malaysia's history, it was almost demolished in the late 1990s.
The stadium and its land were given to a private company which had intended to redevelop the land into a RM1 billion entertainment and office complex. In exchange, the company was required to build seven other stadia in other locations. However, the company did not proceed with the redevelopment due to public outcry and the company's financial difficulties due to the late 1990s Asian economic crisis.
In February 2003, Stadium Merdeka was named a national heritage building.
In 2007, Merdeka Stadium underwent restoration to its original 1957 condition. The 45,000-capacity stadium has been reduced to 20,000, which meant that several of the upper terrace blocks built over the years had to be demolished. The renovations are part of Malaysia’s 50th anniversary plans to relive the moment when Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed independence there. The restoration is expected for completion by December 2009.
Events hosted in the stadium
- Philiac Concert for Peace, May 2011
- 1965 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games
- 1971 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games
- 1977 Southeast Asian Games
- 1989 Southeast Asian Games
- The Merdeka Tournament from 1957 to 1995
- Michael Jackson, 27 and 29 October 1996
- Avril Lavigne, 29 August 2008
- Justin Bieber, 21 April 2011
- Jolin Tsai, Myself World Tour, 11 June 2011
Notes and references
- ^ a b Lim Kit Siang. Merdeka Stadium and National Stadium - the fifth injustice and disservice in a week to the memory and legacy of Tunku on birthday centenary commemoration - Cabinet and not PNB should designate them national heritage and monuments. DAP Malaysia. 12 February 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
- ^ National Sports Complex. Cuti Malaysia. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
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