(Marketingmagazine.com.my) – By GS Kumar
Every nation provides pride of place to its National Stadium, for not only is it the sports avenue, but that for national events as well.
So having such a complex takes on national pride.
But it’s also common knowledge that such sports complexes can be a bane to the economy and often falls into disuse and disrepair.
Many cities around the world have spent billions building such stadiums and continue to bleed years later.
Hosting Games, like the Olympics or even the Football World Cup can be costly, with little chance of recovering the huge sums spent.
In Malaysia, for a long time we boasted of the Merdeka Stadium, which witnessed National Day events, the Trooping of the Colours, the Merdeka Tournament and the SEAP Games which later became the SEA Games.
Nearby still stands the Indoor Stadium which hosted Badminton tournaments like the Thomas Cup, back in the glory days of Malaysian badminton.
But with the changing environment and with bigger crowds attending, there was a need for a bigger and better complex.
The Bukit Jalil Sports Complex was built to host the Commonwealth Games of 1998.
Thus a bold step came when the Minister of Sports and Youth mooted the idea of a Sports City that incorporated several aspects to provide the impetus for such a complex to become a centre of activity, where shopping complexes would be built and for corporate citizens to have a stake in such a complex.
Recently it was announced that Total Sports Asia (TSA) had been appointed by Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) to strategize and oversee the commercialisation of Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KL Sports City), which will include the redeveloped Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex.
TSA’s role is to develop new commercial opportunities including Name Rights to the KL Sports City and the individual Venues including the National Stadium and Putra Stadium.
In addition, new hospitality suites and other licensing and branding opportunities will be available for corporate clients.
The ongoing redevelopment of the National Stadium – which is being carried out by Rukun Juang Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) – is the first phase of development of KL Sports City, a vibrant sports hub that will be accessible not only to athletes but also the local community, recreational users and the general public.
Phase 1 includes targeted works on Putra Stadium and the National Hockey Stadium that will improve integration to the current and existing public transportation links, and increase access across the site.
Once completed, the redeveloped stadium will host the Southeast Asia Games in 2017.
Phase 2 of KL Sports City, which will commence in early 2018, will create a fully-integrated sports hub, consisting of new, world-class infrastructure including elite sports training facilities, a Sports Rehabilitation Science Centre, a Youth Park, public sports facilities, a Sports Museum, Youth Hostel, Convention Centre, and a sports-focused retail mall.
The CEO of the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) Azman Fahmi Osman commented, “We welcome the TSA team on board and are confident KL Sports City will provide performers and spectators with gold standard facilities and experiences and set new standards for the industry and country.”
TSA Group CEO, Marcus Luer (picture) spoke with MARKETING Magazine, saying that such a complex will never end up as a white elephant and the planners have ensured it will always be activity based.
“We are very excited to work with PSM and MRCB. The KL Sports City is the brain child of Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, and it will usher in a new era of sports and entertainment in Malaysia.”
The biggest attraction with this project is that the Government nor the people of Malaysia would have to bear any cost of this billion ringgit redevelopment.
Marcus adds, “Our benchmarks are the best sports-entertainment complexes in the world and Kuala Lumpur will finally have one to call its own.
“We will bring in best practices from around the world, from the O2 in London to the Staples Center in LA and will customize unique partnership opportunities for companies here in Malaysia.
“It’s a whole new way of thinking in terms of branding and customer engagement and potential partners will see the huge value of this project very quickly.”
“Corporate sponsors will pick up the bill, customising their stake in the project, but staying true to the Vision of A Sports City for all Malaysians to enjoy and appreciate.”
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