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Officials mark stadium milestone

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
The 55,000 seater stadium will be able to be evacuated in little over 7 minutes.​ Xinhua

Thong Khon, Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, alongside Chinese Commerce Ministry representative Wang Chunxian, attended yesterday’s event to mark the completion of seat installation at the new, Chinese-funded, Morodok Techo National Stadium in northern Phnom Penh.

Dr. Thong Khon, who is also Minister of Tourism explained that the stadium was a source of great pride for the kingdom and provided an important source of employment for workers.

“For the past 16 months that the stadium has been under construction, the stadium continues to employ 340 Chinese engineers, including 240 Cambodian workers and technicians, he said. “Today the stadium is 40 percent complete. It is expected to be handed over to the government by the end of 2020.”

“The 55,000 seater stadium would be able to be evacuated in little over 7 minutes, if needed, he added.

The stadium, built with $160 million in aid from China, is a monument to the government’s commitment to the development of sport. The Morodok Techo Sports Complex sits on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh and as built in preparedness for the Phnom Penh SEA Games in 2023, phase 1 was completed last April and forms part of a larger sports complex under construction for the last five years. Some swimming and sporting centres have already been completed.

Officials gather for a photo at the ceremony yesterday. KT/Khy Sovuthy

The new multi-million-dollar main stadium will be the centrepiece of the 2023 SEA Games, while the complex in its entirety is estimated to cost about $200 million when complete. The Chinese government had agreed to fund Phase 2 of the complex and finance its completion.

The committee anticipates that the sports complex will be completed in its entirety, by 2020 or 2021. It will accommodate 100,000 people, while the main stadium will hold about 75,000 spectators.

Construction began in April 2013 on a 94-hectare lot near National Road 5 in Russei Keo district and is key to helping the kingdom meet high international standards demanded for the SEA Games. Main stadium construction began in August, 2017

After decades of conflict, Cambodia is set to host the 2023 SEA Games – the region’s most important sporting spectacle. The government is planning to funnel upwards of $400 million to organise the games.

Cambodia failed to organise the games in 1963 due to political issues with Thailand over the disputed Preah Vihear temple. The 2023 games coincide with the National Election that year.

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