SHAH ALAM: The iconic Shah Alam Stadium, once the pride of the state and the country, is now falling apart. And it may soon be torn down and replaced with a new, smaller building.
The massive 83,000-capacity stadium, inaugurated with much fanfare in 1994, was the biggest in the country until the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil was opened four years later.
It also hosted games for the 1997 Under-20 FIFA World Cup.
However, it has since suffered from major structural defects with a poor pitch, a leaking polycarbonate roof and rotting structures which have left it unsafe.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, in a tweet yesterday, admitted that the six-storey Malawati Stadium, which is part of the Shah Alam Stadium, could be demolished.
However, he said this would only be decided after a special committee put together to look into the situation submits its findings.
He added that any reconstruction done on the Shah Alam Stadium complex at Section 13 here will involve the stadium.
“The rebuilding of the Shah Alam Stadium will be announced soon,” said Amirudin.
The stadium has been the venue of many memorable football matches for almost three decades and was the official home ground of the state team, the Red Giants.
However, the dilapidated state of the stadium forced the team to play their home games at the MBPJ Stadium since last year.
Sources said any new structure to be put up would likely be a modern building with a smaller capacity of between 30,000 and 40,000.
In an interview with The Star last year, Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had spoken about the stadium’s sorry state.
The Ruler had said its reconstruction must be in tandem with a planned LRT station adjacent to it.He added that the Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah had asked if the stadium could be demolished and rebuilt exclusively as a football stadium.
“I have no objections to the stadium being demolished for it to be better but the name must be maintained,” he had said.
Amirudin has previously said the stadium would be refurbished once approval was obtained from Selangor Menteri Besar Incorporated.
Repair and upgrading works, estimated to cost between RM200mil and RM300mil, he said, were expected to be completed in 2024.
Work on the stadium was supposed to begin last year but it was delayed due to Covid-19.
However, there had also been talk that there were plans to demolish the stadium to build a smaller one – with the remaining land set aside for housing developers.