PETALING Jaya residents will soon have a world-class football stadium to call their own as the sports facility in Kelana Jaya is set for a RM4mil upgrading project next year.
The upgrade will be funded by Air Asia Bhd and carried out through their new partnership with the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
Works are expected to begin in January and upon completion in April, the stadium will be known as AirAsia MBPJ Stadium.
However, the football field will only be upgraded after April as the stadium will be used for the World Rugby matches.
“This is the first time we are partnering with an corporate company that is well known around the world. Their branding will help make Petaling Jaya and the stadium well known internationally too,”– Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain (Petaling Jaya mayor)
He added that previously, the stadium already received a RM6mil upgrade for the SEA Games 2017 funded by MBPJ.
The upgrades next year done with AirAsia will focus on different areas, such as the football field and the locker rooms.
“With a world-class field and facilities, our stadium will soon be internationally recognised and be given priority to host big football matches,” he said.
The MoU features a five-year partnership between both parties, where MBPJ will be in charge of maintaining and renting out the stadium while AirAsia will maintaining the field.
The stadium will also be the home ground for the Petaling Jaya Rangers football club, formerly known as AirAsia Allstars Football Club.
The club, that are part of the Malaysian football league, will play about 20 league games in the stadium, apart from other friendly matches.
When the stadium is not in use by the club, members of the public can rent the field for matches or tournaments.
Schools and other residents can still rent the stadium for sporting events that include the use of the running track or other facilities.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes hopes the upgraded stadium will benefit the people.
“Bringing communities together is also one of the reasons why we decided to rename the football club to the PJ Rangers – to bring the spirit of community to the city,” he said.
He further explained the importance of investing in a good pitch as this will help groom better players.
“It is not all about talented players as a good coach and good facilities will also make a big difference.
“We want to make this stadium one of the best playing surfaces in Malaysia,” he said.