Rizal Memorial Sports Complex

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Rizal Memorial Sports Complex
Rizal Memorial Sports Complex birdseye.jpg
The sports complex with the De La Salle University campus in the foreground.
Former namesRizal Memorial Field
LocationManila, Philippines
Main venueRizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium
Capacity: 12,873
Other sports facilities
Public transitMetro interchange  1  Vito Cruz
OwnerCity Government of Manila
OperatorPhilippine Sports Commission
ArchitectJuan Arellano
(Track and Football Stadium, Baseball Stadium, Tennis Stadium)
BuilderAntonio de las Alas
Philippine Sports Commission

The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, (RMSC) is a national sports complex of the Philippines, located on Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz St.), Malate, Manila. It is named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. The whole complex is currently managed by the Philippine Sports Commission, while the property is owned by the Manila City government.[1][2] The complex also houses the administrative office of the PSC, and quarters for the Philippine national athletes.


Standing on the site of the former Manila Carnival Grounds[3], the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (then known as Rizal Memorial Field[4]) was constructed in 1927 and was inaugurated in time for the 1934 Far Eastern Championship Games.[3][5] The land where the Art Deco sports facilities designed by architect Juan Arellano was built was donated by the Vito Cruz family.[3][5] It was planned and built by then-Public Works secretary, Antonio de las Alas.[4] During the Philippine Commonwealth era the sports complex was also used as a civic area and was the site here Manuel Quezon was named one of the presidential candidates in the 1935 elections.[3][5] It was destroyed during the Battle of Manila of World War II, and reconstructed in 1953[3] (although the baseball stadium reopened in January 1946 after the floodlights was repaired.[6]) for use in the 1954 Asian Games.[3][5]

Baseball legends Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth once hitted their first and second home run ever respectively in the exhibition game held at the then-newly built ballpark in December 2, 1934.[7] The Beatles were also held their infamous, two-sold out concerts in the Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in July 4, 1966. The combined attendance was 80,000 with the evening concert registering 50,000 paying audience and became the Beatles' second biggest concert ever.[8]

On November 22, 2016, then-Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced that the city government is making a partnership with businessman Enrique Razon to convert the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into a commercial center which will include a mall and cinemas.[9] The group of Razon had expressed interest for the proposed urban redevelopment and modernization of the RMSC. The plan was to build-up contemporary buildings and commercial structures with modern smart technologies and amenities, as well as more greener open spaces within the property. A sports museum would also be construct here, while the facade of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum would be retained.[10] The PSC had reportedly planned to be transferred the facilities in the proposed Philippine Sports City (now named New Clark City Sports Hub) located in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac.[11] The move was criticized by various heritage groups and athletes, even including de las Alas' surviving daughters[4] with an online petition posted on Change.org was initiated to save the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex amid several reports on the planned redevelopment.[3][12] Estrada defended the redevelopment of the RMSC, said that no one uses the complex anymore and it became old, and antiquated.[3]

In April 2017, the sports complex was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines ensuring the site's preservation due to the National Cultural Heritage Act.[13]

Because of the declaration, the Razon group later dropped its bid to redevelop the complex[3] and the Philippine Sports Commission halted its negotiations with the Manila City government on the planned sale of RMSC, instead it will be focused now on rehabilitating the sports complex.[3][14] On August 7, 2019, both the PSC and the Manila City government (now under the administration of Mayor Isko Moreno) agreed to not selling the complex.[15]

On June 27, 2019, PSC announced that the complex will be undergo a renovation for the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games and set to be finished on October 30[16], after PAGCOR donated ₱842.5 million pesos to the PSC for the renovation of the complex in April 2019.[17] Renovation work began on July 8, 2019[18] Unlike the previous renovations which were minor[17], the complex will have its major makeover for the first time since the rebuilding of the complex in 1953, with the coliseum returning to its original look, and the additon of new installments to fit with international standards.[17][19]

Notable events at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex[edit]


Sports venues[edit]

A directory map showing the facilities of the sports complex
Venue Purpose Seating capacity Year Built Notes
Boxing Gym Boxing venue
Gymnastics Hall Gymnastics venue
Ninoy Aquino Stadium Multi-use, primarily basketball 6,000 Formerly an open-air stadium which was converted to an indoor arena.
Pencak Silat Gym Pencak silat
Philippine Taekwondo Association Dojang Taekwondo venue
PSC Badminton Hall Badminton venue
PSC Bowling Center Bowling venue
Rizal Memorial Swimming Center Aquatic sports venue
Rizal Memorial Coliseum Multi-use 8,000 1934
Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium Baseball venue 10,000 1934
Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium (National Stadium) Multi-use, primarily athletics and football 12,873 1934
Rizal Memorial Tennis Center Tennis venue


Facility Purpose Year Built Notes
PSC Administration Building Office
Philippine Center for Sports Medicine Office
Philippine Taekwondo Association Main Office Office

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Talavera, Catherine (December 6, 2016). "Biz group backs Rizal Memorial Complex redevelopment". The Manila Times. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Galvez, Waylon (13 February 2017). "Jawo, Mon agree: Preserve RMSC". Tempo. Retrieved 13 February 2017. ...Department of Justice has already ruled that Manila owns the area [RMSC].
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j De Guzman, Nicai (19 March 2018). "How Heritage Groups and Athletes Fought to Keep the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Alive". Esquire Philippines. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Sembrano, Edgar Allan M. (27 February 2017). "Rizal Memorial builder's kin cry foul over Erap demolition plan". Lifestyle.INQ. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Villalon, Augusto (13 March 2017). "Take that, Erap: Monsour, Olympians oppose Rizal Memorial demolition". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Night Baseball in the Philippines". Ellensburg Daily Record. 26 December 1945. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  7. ^ "About the Philippines". NSWJBL Touring Team Programme. NSW Junior Baseball League. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  8. ^ "A Hard Day's Night in Manila". BeatlesNumber9.com. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  9. ^ Clapano, Jose Rodel (23 November 2016). "Manila to turn Rizal coliseum into mall". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  10. ^ dela Paz, Charisse (December 6, 2016). "Razon group plans to renovate Rizal Memorial Coliseum, add malls". Rappler. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  11. ^ Gonzales, Iris and Macairan, Evelyn (December 7, 2016). "Razon revives offer to redevelop Rizal sports complex". The Philippine Star. Retrieved December 7, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Online petition seeks to save Rizal Memorial Sports Complex". ABS-CBN News. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Sembrano, Edgar Allan (24 April 2017). "Rizal Memorial declared historical landmark, important cultural property". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  14. ^ "PSC halts sale of Rizal Memorial Sports Complex". Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Terrado, Reuben (7 August 2019). "Manila not selling Rizal Sports Complex under mayor Isko Moreno". Sports Interactive Network. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  16. ^ Go, Beatrice (27 June 2019). "2019 SEA Games: Rizal Memorial, Philsports to finish renovations in October". Rappler. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Sampayan, Jac (12 September 2019). "Will it beat the SEAG deadline? Inside the Rizal Memorial makeover". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  18. ^ Terrado, Reuben (8 July 2019). "Decades-old Rizal Memorial Coliseum gets long-overdue renovation". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond 30th Southeast Asian Games". Spin.ph. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.