National Stadium, Singapore

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National Stadium
Stadium Nasional Singapura
新加坡国家体育场
சிங்கப்பூர் தேசிய அரங்கம்
Seating at the National Stadium
National Stadium is located in Singapore
National Stadium
National Stadium
Full nameNational Stadium
Address1 Stadium Drive, Singapore 397629
LocationKallang, Singapore
Coordinates1°18′2.5″N 103°52′27.2″E / 1.300694°N 103.874222°E / 1.300694; 103.874222Coordinates: 1°18′2.5″N 103°52′27.2″E / 1.300694°N 103.874222°E / 1.300694; 103.874222
Public transit CC6  Stadium
 TE23  Tanjong Rhu (from 2023)
OwnerSport Singapore
OperatorDragages Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Capacity55,000 (Football/Rugby), 52,000 (Cricket), 50,000 (Athletics)
Record attendance52,107 (Arsenal vs Everton, 18 July 2015)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground29 September 2010
Opened30 June 2014
Construction costS$1.87 billion
ArchitectArup Associates (Sports venues), DP Architects (Non-sport venues, QP), AECOM (landscape)
Structural engineerArup
Tenants
Singapore national football team (2014–present)
Singapore national cricket team

The National Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Kallang, Singapore. It opened its doors on 30 June 2014, replacing the former National Stadium at the same site, which was closed in 2007 and demolished in 2010.

The stadium features a domed roof structure with a retractable roof and configurable seating on the lowest tier to make it the only stadium in the world that is custom designed to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events. It is also the worlds largest retractable dome.The lowest tier has mechanised and automated retractable seating configurations, allowing the stadium to host concerts and other entertainment purposes at any given time. It takes approximately 48 hours to reconfigure seating arrangements to suit an upcoming event. Depending on the seating configurations, the stadium has either a maximum seating capacity of 55,000 for football and rugby, 52,000 for cricket or 50,000 spectators for athletics events/concerts.[1]

The stadium is a part of the large multi-purpose Singapore Sports Hub complex which comprises the OCBC Aquatic Centre, the multi-purpose OCBC Arena, the Singapore Sports Museum, the Sports Hub library, the Kallang Wave Mall shopping mall and the current Singapore Indoor Stadium; as well as a Water Sports Centre at the adjacent Kallang Basin. The stadium is also home to the Singapore national football team for their international football matches, making a return here for the first time after four years at the Jalan Besar Stadium since the demolition of the old stadium in 2010. The special roof is made out of insulated metal to reflect sunlight.

For the first time since 2006, the Singapore National Day Parade made its return to Kallang on 9 August 2016. Besides the National Day Parade, it is also one of the alternating host venues of the Passing-Out-Parade ceremony for Singapore Armed Forces recruits graduating from the Basic Military Training Centre since September 2015; the other venue being The Float at Marina Bay first held there in October 2010, which is also a venue for the National Day Parade from 2007 to 2009 and 2011 to 2014.

History[edit]

Construction[edit]

Construction work for the sports hub started in 2010 due to the delays caused by the 2008 financial crisis and soaring construction costs. By September 2011, the pilling and the foundation of the stadium was completed and construction on the steelworks of the stadium fixed roof started. On July 2013, the installation of the stadium final primary steel 'runway truss' for the roof was completed marking the completion of the steelworks on the National Stadium's fixed roof in preparation for installation of the retractable roof.[2][3] The stadium was set to be completed in April 2014, however, In February 2014, Sports Hub CEO Philippe Collin Delavaud announced that the National Stadium's completion was pushed back to June 2014.[4]

Stadium specifics and features[edit]

Spectator seating "modes"[edit]

The stadium has configurable spectator tiers depending on the event that will be hosted, namely "Football/Rugby mode", "Cricket mode" and "Athletics mode". To reconfigure from the athletics mode to the football/rugby mode, the lowest spectator tier can be moved 12.5 meters forward, obscuring the athletics running track underneath the seats and thus bringing spectators close to the pitch to provide optimum spectator viewing distances.[5][6] An energy efficient cooling system is also designed to deliver cooled air to every seat in the stadium while using less than 15 percent of energy as compared to a conventional air-conditioned stadium, providing every spectator a cool and comfortable time to enjoy an event.

Football/Rugby mode[edit]

Spectators at the World Club 10s Rugby on 22 June 2014 in the first sporting event held at the National Stadium.

Athletics mode[edit]

An estimated 11,900 spectators at the National Stadium for Tampines Rovers FC vs Selangor FA during the 2016 AFC Cup group stages on 10 May 2016.

Dome and retractable roof[edit]

Retractable roof of the stadium

The National Stadium currently holds the record of the largest dome structure in the world.[7] The retractable roof itself will take an approximate 25 minutes to open or close. The roof is made out of a lightweight material called ETFE, which is weather-resistant and blocks the sun's heat, giving shade and protecting spectators from the hot and humid Singapore weather and potential torrential rain.[8] At night, the retractable roof doubles as a giant projector screen on both sides, which can display images such as the Singapore Flag during the National Day Parade.[9]

Stadium pitch[edit]

Desso GrassMaster was installed as the original grass pitch when the stadium opened.[10] The sandy pitch was criticised by Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri during a pre-season friendly there in August 2014 and resulted in his decision not to field Carlos Tevez due to injury concerns.[11] Afterwards, S$1.5 million of special growth lights were installed to stimulate and speed up the growth of the grass, with one of the main concerns being getting the pitch ready for the 2014 Suzuki Cup at the end of the year. In October 2014, Brazil coach Dunga criticised the state of the pitch, which had not improved much since the Juventus match, when his side were in Singapore to play a friendly against Japan. Although Brazil won the match 4–0, he said after the match that the sandy pitch had prevented his side from playing their best football.[12] Eventually, the grass still failed to grow well and was replaced by the Eclipse Stabilised Turf in May 2015.[13]

Transport[edit]

Mass Rapid Transit[edit]

The stadium is located above the underground Stadium MRT station on the Circle Line. Trains arrive every five to six minutes during off-peak hours, and two to three minutes during peak hours and event days. Other MRT stations nearby are Kallang MRT station which can be accessed using a sheltered walkway, and Mountbatten MRT station. Both of these stations are within 600 metres (2,000 ft) of the stadium. The upcoming Tanjong Rhu MRT station will complement the existing stations once completed in 2023.

Buses and taxis[edit]

Bus stops are located around the Sports Hub complex along Stadium Walk, Stadium Boulevard and Nicoll Highway, with buses serving nearby districts and the city. Taxi stands are also conveniently available near the National Stadium, Singapore Indoor Stadium and Leisure Park Kallang.

Criticisms[edit]

Sports Hub was meant to replace the Old National Stadium as a premium location for high spectator capacity Singapore sports, large scale national events and top entertainment acts, but its operation was marked by several controversies.[14][15]

Pitch quality[edit]

The quality of the field pitch was put under scrutiny after the football match between Juventus and Singapore in August 2014, and again in October 2014 during the Brazil vs Japan friendly.[16] The initial Desso GrassMaster system made of synthetic fibres and natural grass was widely criticised for its sandy nature and was replaced by the lay-and-play natural pitch in 2015.[17]

High costs[edit]

Plans to hold major sports events at the stadium were scrapped due to the high costs of rental. Talks to hold The Merlion Cup football quadrangular and the Asia Masters Athletics Championships did not go through[18] and the discussion to hold the 2016 NDP were stalled for a month due to cost issues as well.[19]

National Day Parade[edit]

The old National Stadium was demolished to make way for the Sports Hub, which was seen as a possible new location for future National Day parades (NDP) in Singapore. The venue hosted the NDP in 2016, two years after opening. However, the new stadium is considered unsuitable as the Singapore Armed Forces Parachute Team is unable to parachute into the domed stadium due to safety concerns.[20]

The dome structure also obstructs the view from outside, making the traditional military flypast and outdoor fireworks hard to observe for the stadium spectators.[20] Heavy armoured military vehicles also cannot drive past spectators as the stadium tracks are not designed to accommodate them.[21][22]

It is also three times more expensive for the government to hold national day parade at the new stadium compared to the temporary floating platform, Float@Marina Bay, despite being a public-private partnership.[20] Under the contract between the Sports Hub and Singapore Government, NDP organisers were allowed 45 days of free annual usage of the venue. However, technicians and performers reported that the time frame needed to be extended to 80 days, to which the Sports Hub requested an additional $10 million.[23] In the end the total cost of running the event (rental) in 2016 was S$39.4 million.[14][24] In October 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Marina Bay Floating Platform will be used as the primary venue for future NDPs.[25]

Events[edit]

Japan versus Brazil in football during the first sell-out crowd. 14 October 2014[26]

The National Stadium hosted the opening ceremony and other events during the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. Other sports events included the World Club 10s Rugby in June 2014, a friendly match between Juventus and a Singapore Selection side in August 2014, which was the first-ever football match at the new stadium. The friendly match between Brazil and Japan in October 2014 is the first-ever sell-out crowd of 55,000 at the stadium. It also hosted the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup in November 2014. It is the venue of all the matches of the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy that is held in Singapore. The stadium was the venue for the 2016 National Day Parade.

From June 2014 onwards, the stadium will also host cricket with day-night One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals matches. There is a prospect of international cricket fixtures and is the possibility of the International Cricket Council moving its headquarters from Dubai to Singapore.[27]

Concerts[edit]

Concerts from international artists are highlighted in light blue.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]