Bukit Jalil Stadium: The new Sports City in town
Built 18 years ago, the Bukit Jalil stadium has been screaming out for an upgrade to meet modern day demands, especially with the emergence of the Sports Hub in Singapore in recent years.
Apart from the ability to host nearly 90,000 spectator, Singapore’s facility is just better than the Malaysia’s darling in just about every aspect.
Like Bukit Jalil, Sports Hub also has other sporting arenas in the vicinity but it stands out in terms of comfort, looks, better management and its side attractions that keep the crowd coming all-year long.
Bukit Jalil Stadium and the other sporting facilities in the area reopens for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next year, and will undergo further redevelopment under Phase 2 – changes that will rival neighbouring Singapore's Sports Hub.
The area will also be renamed to KL Sports City and vows to attract all walks of life.
Cash-cow Putra Stadium also gets new look
If there was one facility in the Bukit Jalil area that has been fully utilised, it is none other than this indoor stadium.
Putra Stadium is home to a variety of events including sporting events, concerts, awards and even wrestling.
Malaysia Stadium Corporation (MSC), the stadium’s guardians, are keen on giving Putra Stadium the same look and feel like the main stadium. It too will have a silver façade surrounding the stadium that will be lit at nights.
The spectator seats, corporate boxes, changing room and lobby are currently undergoing an upgrade for the next year’s regional games.
A better sound and lighting system have also been promised in efforts to retain the stadium as the most profitable venue in the area.
The facility may have hosted some of the world’s best athletes at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, but that remains a distant memory.
The hockey stadium, for instance, has lost its appeal despite Malaysia still being among the preferred destinations in sport.
The stadiums in Ipoh, Kuantan and Johor Bahru get the nod these days for international tournaments and the national stadium has to make do with domestic matches.
The aquatic centre did not even have a diving platform that met FINA standards and replacement light bulbs are no longer in market.
Both stadiums will be refurbished before the SEA Games. The hockey stadium will get a new pitch while diving platforms will meet international standards.
The aquatic centre will also get a new roof to cover more parts of the arena while the swimming pools, hot pool and warm area are being redone.
New courts will also be installed at the squash centre, in addition to a paint-job.
All facilities will have new sports lighting to meet the standards required in world-class tournaments.