FourFourTwo's 10 Best Stadiums in Southeast Asia
I-MOBILE STADIUM (THAILAND)
- BUILT: 2011
- CAPACITY: 32,600
- ESTIMATED COST: US$14 mllion (S$19m)
- HOME TEAM: Buriram United
Thailand’s regional gem of a stadium is the only one on FourFourTwo’s list that is more commonly known by its nickname and in the 'Thunder Castle', that’s an impressive moniker.
Built in just 250 days and situated in a complex that also houses Thailand’s only ‘football themed hotel’ (complete with a mini pitch), each of its main stands are emblazoned with large catch-phrases written in English and whilst ‘we are the winner’ is certainly an accurate description of its primary tenant, we’re not exactly sure what ‘Breath of Buriram’ on the main stand is quite meant to convey.
Regardless, the compact, football-specific venue is a fantastic modern facility complete with a shiny fan shop and with the spectacular sunsets and low-hanging clouds that often frame the Thunder Castle, there aren’t many better places to watch football in Southeast Asia.
GELORA BANDUNG LAUTAN API (INDONESIA)
- BUILT: 2013
- CAPACITY: 38,000
- ESTIMATED COST: US$40 million (S$54.4m)
- HOME TEAM: Persib Bandung
In 2017 you know you’ve made it as a stadium when you have your own dedicated social media channels that are more popular than many players and with the unofficial @GBLAstadium Twitter account having reached 60,000 followers, one of the region’s newest venues has been capturing the hearts and minds of plenty of football fans across Indonesia.
The impressive new home of one of Southeast Asia’s most popular clubs, Persib Bandung, the venue may be less atmospheric than some due to the wide running track around the edge of the pitch, but the raucous home fans do their best to ensure the home side is well supported.
Plus they’re doing it in comfort at one of the country’s most modern venues that rises from the surrounding farmland with a striking facade that resembles the look and feel of the iconic Soccer City stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.
Complete with fireproof seating and bulletproof glass in the VIP sections, even Indonesia’s famed rowdy football scene may be unable to cause much damage at the new facility, although Persib have temporarily moved away from the venue due to concerns over crime in the precincts outside the facility.