ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) now have a world class home ground to boast of. The Sultan Ibrahim Stadium was officially opened in time for the M-League curtain raiser – the Charity Shield – on Friday.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar officiated the grand opening on Saturday night of the stadium, which costs more than RM200mil and seats 35,000.
Also present at the event were Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Johor Regent Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim and his wife Che Puan Khaleeda Bustamam, Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman Ibni Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.
The Southern Tigers previously played their home games at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru but now JDT will be playing their matches at the brand new venue.
In a statement, JDT owner Tunku Ismail said the club have grown by leaps and bounds with the opening of the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium marking yet another historic chapter for the six-time Malaysian Super League champions.
“The past seven years have been amazing both on and off the pitch for JDT and the opening of this Sultan Ibrahim Stadium marks another feather in the cap.
“As a club, JDT have come a long way since their inception in 2013. We have successfully overcome the norm in Malaysian football and set new benchmarks that have inevitably raised standards and challenged boundaries on the international front, ” he said.
During the grand opening, thousands of JDT fans and invited guests were entertained by British singer and X-Factor winner Leona Lewis and local singers Ayai and Hakim.
Owned by JDT, the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium sits on a 28-hectare land that also houses the club’s headquarters.
Plans for an adjacent state-of-the-art training centre for all JDT teams from senior to Under-12, are also in the pipeline.
The Sultan Ibrahim Stadium has eight specially themed elegant corporate boxes to suit various hospitality needs.
It is the first football-only stadium with natural grass in Malaysia where the pitch is laid with the tried and tested Zeon Zoysia grass and has a drainage system that prevents water logging.
The stadium’s first competitive match will be the M-League 2020 Charity Shield match between JDT and Kedah on Feb 28.
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