Phase two of stadium for 2023 SEA Games commences

The entrance of the national sports complex has elements of a ship to signify the Maritime Silk Road.
The entrance of the national sports complex has elements of a ship to signify the Maritime Silk Road. Moeun Nhean

On Tuesday, two more buildings in the series of buildings in the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex commenced construction at a groundbreaking ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Sprawling over 85 hectares of land with an investment of $157 million, phase two saw the construction launch of the football stadium – a space that can hold up to 55,000 spectators. Given a timeframe of 30 months to be built, it is scheduled to finish in 2020. There are a total of three phases.

Cambodia is to host the 2023 SEA games, marking a historic moment that the prime minister has apologised for causing the delay of. “The money just for organising the SEA Games can be utilised to build four or five bridges across the Mekong river,” Hun Sen said, adding that was why Cambodia’s dreams of hosting the games had come to fruition belatedly as he wanted to build infrastructure for the people first.

The national sports complex is modeled after a ship to signify the thousands of years of ties between Cambodia and China, and also to represent the current Maritime Silk Road.

Vat Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and the vice-secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, said, “The inauguration ceremony for Morodok Techo National Stadium yesterday morning was for the swimming pool building and the indoor sports stadium. Besides these two buildings, we have also opened the other smaller buildings, including dormitories, a cafeteria and a huge rehearsal compound just outside the building.”

“The swimming pool building is massive as it homes three international-sized swimming pools, including a rehearsal pool, a pool for competition with the size of 25 meters by 50 meters and three meters deep, and a five-metre deep diving pool,” said Chamroeun.

The swimming pool stadium can welcome 3,000 visitors at once, while the indoor sports stadium can contain 5,000 people.

He added, “The stadium contains sports facilities supporting boxing, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer and handball, among others.”

The ceremony also observed the establishment of a managing department for the national sports complex to operate and maintain all stadium activities.