80th Birthday Stadium
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|Full name||His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary, 5th December 2007 Stadium|
|Former names||333rd Nakhon Ratchasima Anniversary Stadium|
|Location||Pak Thong Chai Road, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.|
|Broke ground||28 March 2005|
|Built||March 2005 - July 2007|
|Opened||December 2007 (officially opened in December 2007. Finished in July 2007)|
|Construction cost||US$65 million (cost of entire SEA Games complex)|
|Nakhon Ratchasima F.C.|
The 80th Birthday Stadium is a sports facility in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), Thailand. It is the main stadium in His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary, 5th December 2007 Sports Complex. It is home to Nakhon Ratchasima FC, a semi-professional team, and it was used for the 2007 SEA Games.
The stadium is in the former SEA Games sports complex on Highway 304 (Pak Thong Chai Road) southwest of the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. The stadium is all-seated with space for 24,641 spectators. The tribunes form a continuous ring, almost a perfect circle, around the pitch and running track. The stands are uncovered on three sides but a huge cantilevered roof provides cover for about 7,000 seats on one side where the ring rises to approximately double the height of the tribune it faces. Most of the seats in the stadium are bright orange (the same colour as Nakhon Ratchasima FC's home kit) and are the fixed-bucket style. But in the main stand some of the seats at the top of the tribune are red and those in the VIP section are not fixed bucket but the tip-up type favoured in the UK. In the lower sections of the main stand the initials "SAT" (Sports Authority of Thailand) are picked out in blue. The equivalent letters in Thai script are also picked out in blue. There are commentary boxes and private suites at the top of the main stand. There is also a large royal box in the middle of the main stand. At the north end of the stadium is a large scoreboard. At the opposite end are the three flagpoles used for the SEA Games and the place where the "Olympic" flame burned.
The concourses are basic and continue around the entire stadium. As with most Thai stadiums, the entrances lead directly into the seating areas with little in the way of facilities for supporters save for some modern and well-appointed toilets. The pitch is one of the better ones to be found in Thailand and is known to drain well in the rainy season. There are two floodlight systems in use at the stadium. There are roof-mounted lights on the main stand side and there are four very tall concrete pylons which stand outside the stadium. Both systems were installed because when the SEA Games was in progress the running track, pitch, sand pits, high-jump, pole vault and shot-put areas had to be illuminated simultaneously.
The large stadium also has its own "Lesser Hampden". Just opposite the main entrance to the stadium itself is a floodlit pitch complete with running track and a small stand. This modest arena would be large enough to host Nakhon Ratchasima FC matches but the ground doesn't meet league standards as it is not enclosed and the floodlights are not powerful enough for evening matches. However, Nakhon Ratchasima did use the ground for a pre-season friendly in March 2009 against Khonkaen FC.
Nakhon Ratchasima FC moved into the stadium in June 2008 having previously played at the Central stadium, Nakhon Ratchasima. The move was initially on a trial basis: if it wasn't deemed a success then the club would return to the Central Stadium. However, the switch has proven a success, therefore Korat continue to use the stadium for their home matches.
Stadia and locations
- World Stadiums.com
- Sports Authority of Thailand site
- Photos at koratfc.net
- Photos of 'Lesser Stadium'.