Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium
The stadium in 2019
Map
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; 120.9920000
Public transitMetro interchange Vito Cruz
Bus interchange  5 

 6   7   14   17   23   24   25   27   34   38   40   42   48   49 

 53  P. Ocampo
OwnerCity Government of Manila
OperatorPhilippine Sports Commission
Capacity12,880
Field size105x68 m[2]
SurfaceLimonta Sport artificial turf (FIFA-certified)
Construction
Opened1934
Renovated1953, 1981, 1991, 2005, 2011, 2019, 2021
ArchitectJuan Arellano[1]
Tenants
Philippines national football team
Philippines women's national football team
Philippines Football League
PFF Women's League
Copa Paulino Alcantara
University Athletic Association of the Philippines
National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines)

The Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium (simply known as the Rizal Memorial Stadium; officially the Simeon Toribio Track Stadium)[3] is the main stadium of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, Philippines. 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 teams and domestic matches.

Background

Aerial view of the Carnival Grounds, 1931[a]
Aerial view of Rizal Memorial Stadium, 1934

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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,[6][7] where the Philippine national team won 4-0 overall.[5][8][7] However, the pitch (which was a natural grass) deteriorated again due to the number of football and rugby events,[9] that led the PSC to convert it into an artificial turf in 2014.[9][10] In 2015, its football pitch received the 2-star accreditation from FIFA, making it the first football pitch in the Philippines to have it.[11]

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[12][13] New individual seats are to be installed in the spectator area of the stadium outside the main grandstand.[12] The renovation also includes the upgrading of its rubberized track oval.[14] The renovation will be funded from the ₱842.5 million given by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to the Philippine Sports Commission.[15]

In August 2021, the stadium was officially renamed as the Simeon Toribio Track Stadium, after Olympic high jumper Simeon Toribio.[3]

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

Notable events

Track and Field

Football

Domestic

International

Date Time Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
16 November 2023 19:00 UTC+8  Philippines 0–2  Vietnam Second round 10,378
21 November 2023 19:00 UTC+8  Philippines 1–1  Indonesia 9,880
26 March 2024 19:00 UTC+8  Philippines 0–5  Iraq 10,014

Rugby

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.[16]

Entertainment

See also: The Beatles' 1966 tour of Germany, Japan and the Philippines

On July 4, 1966, the Rizal Memorial Stadium hosted two sold-out concerts of the Beatles. The combined attendance was 80,000 with the evening concert registering 50,000 paying audience and becoming the Beatles' second-biggest concert ever.[17]

Add to this, a celebrity had concert in this Stadium “The Vic Damone Show” held on 24 December 1960. A huge audience attended his concert in the evening.

COVID-19 pandemic

During the government's "Hatid Tulong" program, the stadium was used as the designated temporary holding place for Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs).[18][19] With the stadium being full, many other individuals who availed of the said program ended up sleeping and gathering outside.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b 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.

References

  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. ^ "Estádios - Manila, Filipinas". Show de Bola (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b "PSC names facilities to Diaz, Yldefonso, Toribio, Ampon". Tiebreaker Times. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b Solanoy, Lesmes (6 July 2011). "Unsung Heroes of Philippine Football". Go Archers. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Flores, Celest R. (3 July 2011). "Fulltime: Philippine Azkals 4-0 Sri Lanka". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Rizal Memorial Stadium Rolls Out A New Green Carpet for Philippine Football". E-Sports International. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "2019 SEA Games: Rizal Memorial Stadium renovations in full swing". Rappler. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond 30th Southeast Asian Games". Spin.ph. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Sampayan, Jac (12 September 2019). "Will it beat the SEAG deadline? Inside the Rizal Memorial makeover". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Teams ready for RWC Qualifiers in Manila". Rugbyworldcup.com. 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  17. ^ "A Hard Day's Night in Manila". BeatlesNumber9.com. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  18. ^ "LOOK: Stranded individuals cram inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Some LSIs slept on the streets as Rizal Memorial Stadium already full". www.msn.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.