Stadium Merdeka

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Stadium Merdeka
Stadium Merdeka Complete.jpg
Location Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Owner Permodalan Nasional Bhd
Operator Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka[1]
Capacity 25,000
Surface Grass pitch, track
Construction
Broke ground 25 September 1956
Opened 21 August 1957
Architect Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR)
Tenants
Formerly Malaysian national football team
Southeast Asian Games (1965, 1971, 1977)
2013 Asian Youth Para Games

Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) is a sports stadium, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was initially erected for Malaysia's declaration of independence on 31 August 1957.

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, as it is Malaysia's grandest stage for someone to hold a concert here. Although there were many performers who have performed before, but Michael Jackson is the only artist who managed to sell out a concert in Stadium Merdeka.

The Stadium Negara and the Chin Woo Stadium are located nearby.

History[edit]

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.[2] In exchange, the company was required to build seven other stadiums 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 was completed by December 2009.

Events hosted in the stadium[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Access to the stadium is easy since the operation of KL Monorail began. Passengers can stop at Maharajalela Monorail station, next to one of the stadium's west exits.

Gallery[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

^a At the time of its independence, Malaya excluded Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah.

Coordinates: 3°8′20.71″N 101°42′2.09″E / 3.1390861°N 101.7005806°E / 3.1390861; 101.7005806