Ministers and officials have marked a major milestone in the construction of the new multi-million-dollar Morodok Techo National Stadium in northern Phnom Penh.
Accompanying Dr. Thong Khon from the Ministry of Tourism and the President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, on his inspection of the stadium on Sunday were officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Ouk Cheathak, General Director of Sport, as well as a Chinese Embassy in Cambodia representative.
“To date, about 50 percent of the construction is complete and it is expected that the whole project will be completed by the end of 2020,” said Dr. Khon.
He added that 70 percent of the seats had already been installed and all 55,000 were expected to be in place by July.
Dr. Khon added that post-construction, Cambodia would need at least two more years for training and building up expertise for hosting duties of the SEA Games – the regions premier sports spectacle.
The minister encouraged everyone involved in the project to remain committed so that the construction would be finished within the scheduled timeframe. The stadium employs approximately 340 Chinese engineers, including 240 Cambodian workers and technicians.
Built with $160 million in aid from China, the stadium 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.
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.
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.