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|Location||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Owner||Permodalan Nasional Bhd|
|Operator||Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka|
|Surface||Grass pitch, track|
|Broke ground||25 September 1956|
|Opened||21 August 1957|
|Architect||Stanley Edward Jewkes|
|Formerly Selangor FA
Formerly Malaysian national football team
Southeast Asian Games (1965, 1971, 1977)
2013 Asian Youth Para Games
Kuala Lumpur FA (occasional)
Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has significance as the site of the formal declaration of independence of the Federation of Malaya on 31 August 1957 and the first modern building of the new nation. The stadium was the principal venue in Kuala Lumpur for celebrations and sporting events until 1962 when the Stadium Negara was built. In 2008, the Stadium Merdeka received the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Excellence for Heritage Conservation owing to its cultural significance and embodiment of a unique independence declaration event.
Stadium Merdeka was constructed from 25 September 1956 to 21 August 1957, and was designed by architect Stanley Edward Jewkes. It is 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.
The stadium served as the principal venue in Kuala Lumpur for celebrations and sporting events until the mid-1990s when the Stadium Negara was built.
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 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.
Sporting events and concerts
The Stadium Merdeka, operated by Perbadanan Stadium Merdeka, was a venue for many major sporting events. These included the football matches for Selangor FA from 1957 until 1994, the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner on July 1, 1975, and the 1977 Southeast Asian Games and the annual Merdeka Football Tournament (Pesta Bola Merdeka). The Malaysia Cup final between Sarawak and Brunei was held there in 1999 which resulted in a Brunei win 2-1.
The Merdeka Stadium also hosted major concerts. The concert of Michael Jackson filled the stadium to capacity (Jackson performed two sold out concert in October 1996, in front of 55,000 people each night.)
In February 2003, Stadium Merdeka was named a national heritage building. In 2007, Merdeka Stadium underwent restoration to its original 1957 condition as 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. The restoration received the UNESCO Asia-Pacific 2008 Award of Excellence for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Events since 2009
With the restoration of the Stadium Merdeka, the 45,000-capacity stadium was reduced to 20,000, which meant that several of the upper terrace blocks built over the years were demolished. The decision to reduced the capacity of the historic stadium was justified to ensure the integrity of the stadium as it was in 1957, with the Stadium Negara and the Chin Woo Stadium having the capacity to hold larger events. In February 2015, Kuala Lumpur FA returned to Stadium Merdeka for the first time in 17 years for the team's opening Premier League match of the season against Sabah. The last international match played at the stadium saw the Malaysian team drawing 1-1 with Cambodia in October 2001.
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
- Muhammad Ali VS Joe Bugner, 1 July 1975
- Michael Jackson, History World Tour, 27 and 29 October 1996 (for a total audience of 110,000 people)
- Kelly Chen, Dynacarnival World Tour, 14 December 2002
- Beyond (band), Beyond 20th Anniversary World Tour Live 03, 11 October 2003
- Linkin Park, Meteora World Tour, 15 October 2003
- Faye Wong, No Faye! No Live!, Tour 23 April 2004
- Mariah Carey, Charmbracelet World Tour, 20 February 2004
- My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade World Tour, 9 December 2007
- Celine Dion, Taking Chances World Tour, 13 April 2008 (For a total audience of 48,000)
- Avril Lavigne, The Best Damn Tour, 29 August 2008
- Justin Bieber, My World Tour, 21 April 2011
- Jolin Tsai, Myself World Tour, 11 June 2011
- Avril Lavigne, The Black Star Tour, 18 February 2012
- Leehom Wang, MUSIC-MAN Tour, 3 March 2012
- Jacky Cheung, Jacky Cheung 1/2 Century World Tour, 12 May 2012
- Wonder Girls, Wonder World, 13 October 2012
- Big Bang, Big Bang Alive Galaxy Tour 2012, 27 October 2012
- Jennifer Lopez, Dance Again World Tour, 2 December 2012
- B.o.B, Far East Movement, Mizz Nina, Watsons Music Festival, 15 December 2012
- Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat 2013, #KL112, 12 January 2013
- Albert Effendy, Mari Bercinta Tour, 8 July 2013 (for a total audience of 20 people)
- Metallica, Vacation Tour 2013, 21 August 2013
- Mariah Carey, The Elusive Chanteuse Show, 22 October 2014
- Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi Live!, 19 September 2015
- EXO, Exo Planet #2 - The Exo'luxion World Tour, 12 March 2016
- A.R. Rahman, A.R. Rahman Live in Concert, 14 May 2016
- Jolin Tsai, Play World Tour, 16 July 2016
- EXO, Exo Planet #3 - The Exo'rdium World Tour, 18 March 2017
- Existing Ticketing Booths
- VIP Holding room
- Changing Rooms
Notes and references
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stadium Merdeka.|
- National Sports Complex. Cuti Malaysia. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
- 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.
- "Stadium Merdeka to be home again for Kuala Lumpur football team". The Star Online. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- Win tickets to Mariah Carey's concert in KL. The Star Online. Retrieved 18 October 2014.