Rizal Memorial Stadium

The Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium (simply known as the Rizal Memorial Stadium; officially the Simeon Toribio Track Stadium[4]) is the main stadium of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Philippines. It is the home of the Philippines National Football Team. It served as the main stadium of the 1954 Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games on three occasions. The stadium is also officially the home of the Philippines national football team and some Philippines Football League matches.

Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium
Rizal Memorial Football Stadium - field, bleachers area (Malate, Manila; 11-27-2019).jpg
Interior of the stadium
Full nameSimeon Toribio Track Stadium
LocationManila, Philippines
Coordinates14°33′48.25″N 120°59′31.20″E / 14.5634028°N 120.9920000°E / 14.5634028; 120.9920000Coordinates: 14°33′48.25″N 120°59′31.20″E / 14.5634028°N 120.9920000°E / 14.5634028; 120.9920000
Public transitMetro interchange ManilaLine1Logo.svg Vito Cruz
Bus interchange  6  17  P. Ocampo
OwnerCity Government of Manila
OperatorPhilippine Sports Commission
Capacity12,873 Expanded/Renovated[2]
Field size105 x 68 m[3]
(114.8 x 74.4 yd)
SurfaceLimonta Sport artificial turf (FIFA-certified)
Construction
Opened1934
Renovated1953, 1981, 1991, 2005, 2011, 2019
ArchitectJuan Arellano[1]
Tenants
Philippines national football team
Philippines Football League
F.C. Meralco Manila (2017)
University Athletic Association of the Philippines
National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines)

BackgroundEdit

Since the 1930s, it has hosted all major local football tournaments and some international matches.[a] When a new tartan track was laid out at the oval for the country's initial hosting of the 1981 Southeast Asian Games, the venue became a hub for athletics and the football pitch's condition slowly deteriorated.[5] It eventually became unsuitable for international matches which meant the Philippine national team would have to play their home games at an alternate venue.

In 2010, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) partnered with the De La Salle University to refurbish the stadium's football pitch.[6] The stadium had undergone a major renovation program with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) spend ₱3.4 million for the renovation of the locker rooms, comfort rooms, and the fiberglass seats.[7] The renovation was completed in 2011 and was first used for the game of Azkals against Sri Lanka in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers round on July 3, 2011 which was the first international football game held at the stadium in the decades,[7][8] where the Philippine national team won 4-0 overall.[6][9][8] However, the pitch (which was a natural grass) deteriorated again due to the number of football and rugby events,[10] that led the PSC to convert it into an artificial turf in 2014.[10][11] In 2015, its football pitch received the 2-star accreditation from FIFA, making it the first football pitch in the Philippines to have it.[12]

The stadium has undergone a major renovation after it was designated as the venue for the men's football event of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games[13][14] New individual seats are to be installed in the spectator area of the stadium outside the main grandstand.[13] The renovation also includes the upgrading of its rubberized track oval.[15] The renovation will be funded from the ₱842.5 million given by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to the Philippine Sports Commission.[16] However only east bleachers are only installed by single seats while north and south bleachers are still unfinished, even on the first day the football competitions at the SEA Games started without scoreboard during a match between Malaysia and Myanmar. The failure to complete the renovations before the games started went viral on social media.[17]

In August 2021, the stadium was officially renamed as the Simeon Toribio Track Stadium, after Olympic high jumper Simeon Toribio.[4]

Panoramic view of Rizal Memorial Stadium prior to the 2019 renovation.

Notable events at the Rizal Memorial StadiumEdit

Sports eventsEdit

The first international rugby test in the stadium was held when the Philippines hosted the 2012 Asian Five Nations Division I tournament, which doubled as a qualifying tournament for the 2015 Rugby World Cup; the goal posts were erected just days prior to the tournament.[18]

Entertainment eventsEdit

On July 4, 1966, the Rizal Memorial Stadium hosted two sold-out concerts of the Beatles held in Manila and was one of only three cities in Asia (other than Tokyo and Hong Kong) they have ever played in. The combined attendance was 80,000 with the evening concert registering 50,000 paying audience and became the Beatles' second-biggest concert ever.[19]

COVID-19 pandemicEdit

During the Philippine Government's "Hatid Tulong" program, the stadium was used as the designated temporary holding place for Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs).[20] The number of individuals and families hoping to be sent back to their respective provinces exceeded the limit of capacity. This raised concerns over the resulting lack of social distancing and Health and Safety guidelines due to the hundreds of people being in close proximity.[21] With the stadium being full, many other individuals who availed of the said program ended up sleeping and gathering outside the stadium complex.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The location of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was formerly known as the Manila Carnival Grounds. During this time, it also hosted local and international football matches.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ De Guzman, Nicai (19 March 2018). "How Heritage Groups and Athletes Fought to Keep the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Alive". Esquire Philippines. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  2. ^ "2019 SEA Games: Rizal Memorial Stadium renovations in full swing". 19 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Estádios - Manila, Filipinas". Show de Bola (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b "PSC names facilities to Diaz, Yldefonso, Toribio, Ampon". Tiebreaker Times. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  5. ^ June Navarro (29 March 2009). "PSC plans to restore RMSC football field". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b Solanoy, Lesmes (6 July 2011). "Unsung Heroes of Philippine Football". Go Archers. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Fenix, Ryan (4 June 2011). "All systems go for Azkals' World Cup qualifier at Rizal Memorial". Interaksyon.com. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b Tupas, Cedelf P. (13 June 2011). "Rizal stadium ready for Azkals vs Sri Lanka football match". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  9. ^ Flores, Celest R. (3 July 2011). "Fulltime: Philippine Azkals 4-0 Sri Lanka". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b Terrado, Reuben (9 May 2014). "Take a peek at Azkals' refurbished home: Rizal Stadium's new artificial turf ready to host games". Spin.ph. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Rizal Memorial Stadium Rolls Out A New Green Carpet for Philippine Football". E-Sports International. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  12. ^ Schuengel, Frank (12 February 2015). "Rizal Memorial Stadium Becomes First Football Pitch In The Philippines To Receive FIFA Accreditation". When In Manila. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  13. ^ a b "2019 SEA Games: Rizal Memorial Stadium renovations in full swing". Rappler. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond 30th Southeast Asian Games". Spin.ph. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  15. ^ Alabastro, Antonio (1 February 2019). "He advocates play and games to foster brotherhood". The Manila Times. Retrieved 17 November 2019. The track and field stadium will look like a dalaga [unmarried woman]” before the 60-year-old Southeast Asian Games opens at the Philippine Arena in November this year, Ramirez says. Its faded bleachers will be repainted, its rubberized track, where legendary runners Mona Sulaiman and Lydia de Vega trained, will be upgraded.
  16. ^ Sampayan, Jac (12 September 2019). "Will it beat the SEAG deadline? Inside the Rizal Memorial makeover". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  17. ^ "#SEAGamesfail: Host country Philippines under fire as hiccups go viral". The Straits Times. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Teams ready for RWC Qualifiers in Manila". Rugbyworldcup.com. 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  19. ^ "A Hard Day's Night in Manila". BeatlesNumber9.com. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  20. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "LOOK: Stranded individuals cram inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Some LSIs slept on the streets as Rizal Memorial Stadium already full". www.msn.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Asian Athletics Championships
Venue

1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Asian Athletics Championships
Venue

2003
Succeeded by