Rejuvenated KL Sports City at Bukit Jalil

Great thanks to Southeast Asian Games 2017 (KL SEA Games 2017)! Now we have a rejuvenated KL Sports City at Bukit Jalil!

Besides all the impressive major upgrades and redesigns of the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Putra Indoor Stadium, National Hockey Stadium and National Aquatic Centre making them even more world-class for all the international and regional sporting events, what impressed me most is how KL Sports City has been transformed into a livable sports city placing sport and recreation at the centre of family life, giving the community a sustainable sporting precinct year-round.

As a runner, cyclist and swimmer who stay within walking distance to rejuvenated KL Sports City, it's truly a blessings and a long-awaited good news on the rejuvenated precinct! I am very happy! I can't hold back my smile and grin from ear to ear! haha!

I had the opportunity to check out the stadiums and precinct this week while watching the athletic events for KL SEA Games 2017. Let's take a walk-through of the upgraded facilities of KL Sports City at Bukit Jalil.

Bukit Jalil National Stadium

Wow! I didn't realize that Bukit Jalil National Stadium is the largest in South East Asia, with the seating capacity of 87,000 people. It's so impressive!

Built for 1998 Commonwealth Games, Bukil Jalil National Stadium was later used for 2007 Asian Cup (soccer) and exhibition matches with Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Of course, many national events, local events are being held at Bukit Jalil National Stadium over the years.

I really love the "new and upgraded" Bukit Jalil National Stadium. The first look at the unique facade made from a series of vertical louvers might not reveal much. But in actual fact, the vertical louvers have been twisted in response to climatic conditions, offering sun shading and encouraging natural ventilation. 

The facilities, infrastructure and systems have been upgraded too. I can "smell" that the toilet facilities are totally "new" when I used it when watching SEA Games athletic events. :) 

And how can we forget how beautiful Bukit Jalil National Stadium looks at night with the beaming beautiful state-of-the-art lights? That's because the louvers have been installed with LED lights, allowing digitally based animations, advertisements and branding to flow over the 3 dimensional facade. Well, it must have cost lots of money to have such installation, but the outcome is truly impressive!
Bukit Jalil National Stadium - beautiful and functional architecture - unique facade with twisted vertical louvers in response to climate conditions
Bukit Jalil National Stadium - at night - with the beautiful LED lights
Bukit Jalil National Stadium - how it looks like in the afternoon

Bukit Jalil National Stadium - how it looks like at night with the lights on

Axiata Arena (Putra Indoor Stadium)

Better known as Putra Indoor Stadium for boxing, badminton, basketball, table tennis and judo events, WWE, Disney Ice, 2009 ASEAN Para Games, Taylor Swift concert, Michael Buble concert and Alicia Keys concert were also held there. 

It has been upgraded with all new 11,000 permanent and 2,232 retractable seats. Toilets and changing room facilities have also been upgraded. Not only that, there is new air conditioning system, sports lighting and PA system. 

I watched concerts and performances at Putra Indoor Stadium before. I can't wait to experience the upgraded facilities again soon.

National Hockey Stadium

National Hockey Stadium with 12,000 seating capacity is quite famous. 2002 Men's Hockey World Cub, 1999 Hockey Asia Cup, 1982 Hockey Junior World Cub etc were all held there. 

It has also undergone major upgrades including the new, world-class turf pitch, new sports lighting and toilets. 

I personally have not been inside the stadium but I have heard the thunderous cheers from the hockey fans inside National Hockey Stadium when I pass by from outside.

National Aquatic Centre

The swimming event tickets were sold out!! How I wish I had a chance to go inside the much anticipated upgrades of National Aquatic Center that has Olympic standard swimming pool. warm-up areas and diving pool.

The recent redesign and upgrades include:

  • replacement of existing fabric roof at seating and pool area, 
  • new FINA compliant diving board, 
  • upgrades of changing rooms and public toilets, 
  • new sports lighting and PA system, 
  • new tiling underwater lighting and filtration systems to the pools
  • new facade with glass curtain wall allowing more daylight into the building
I have swam at the Olympic standard swimming pool many times over the years. I noticed the facilities were rather poorly maintained and run down. I'm very happy for the redesign and upgrades!

I can't wait to swim in the Olympic standard swimming pool soon, visualising myself as swimming sensation Welson Sim - swimming the fastest freestyle of my life in an imaginary ASEAN games 2017! ha! ha! Well, I hope the entrance ticket price remains the same and will not increase after the upgrades though. 

Precinct enhancements designed for everyday use

Personally, the precinct enhancements are the most impressive! I will tell you why it excites me! But first, let's take a look at some of the enhancements. 

There is a totally new, covered pedestrian boulevards linking Bukit Jalil LRT station and all stadiums. It is also wheelchair-friendly, giving accessibility for wheelchair users as well. Thumbs up! If you are tired from walking to the stadium, you can also use the oBike! 

Bukit Jalil LRT station has been rejuvenated with sports theme and new signage. oBike bicycles are readily available almost everywhere in KL Sports City.
KL Sports City - pedestrian boulevards are very good for shades, a great welcome new enhancement!
The whole precinct is so fresh, so green, so alive and so connected with beautiful, functional rejuvenated landscaping. I feel like jumping for joy, running around the place, screaming for joy!

As I stay within walking distance to Bukit Jalil National Stadium, I always feel frustrated for the fact that it's not built for every day use and not encouraging community participation. 

As a runner staying in Bukit Jalil / Sri Petaling area, I have longed for a close-by running track to run on for a long time. Unfortunately, there was none. In Petaling Jaya, runners can go to University Malaya's running track to run. In Shah Alam, runners can go to Shah Alam Stadium's running track to run. In Cheras, runner can also go to Pandan Jaya running track to run. Even the Taman Tasik Permaisuri Park in Cheras has running track.  Therefore, I usually run at Bukit Jalil recreational park but without the running track. I love to run there too due to the close-proximity to my home.

Thanks to KL SEA Games 2017! This totally rejuvenated KL Sports City is such a delight to all the sports enthusiasts and family staying around this area. The redesign has created a liveable sports city plaing sport and recreation at the centre of family life, giving the community a sustainable sporting precinct year-round.

Ok ok - I can't hold on the excitement any longer!!

Out of all the facilities - I love the new cycling and running tracks the most!! 
KL Sports City - new running and cycling tracks around Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Did I say cycling and running tracks? Yes yes!!! No kidding! New cycling and running tracks that circle around the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. 

This is the part I want to experience most for everyday use purpose. I look forward to finding a weekend or evening after KL SEA Games 2017 is over to run the fresh new red running track and cycle on the cycling track. And for those who don't have bicycle, oBike bicycles are readily available too!

Hey - that means with the running track, I can start doing my speed work and tempo run which has been absent in my training! I wonder what will be the distance for one loop of running around Bukit Jalil National Park? Hmm - I will find out soon!! Super excited and energized!

KL Sports City - a truly livable sports city!

I must say after recent visits to rejuvenated KL Sports City at Bukit Jalil, I'm totally impressed! Now I also know that besides attending major sport events or concerts, it's also a venue for everyday use by community year-round. 

Well done, KL Sports City! 

Written by Vincent Khor on August 25, 2017

P.S. All pictures taken with GoPro HERO5 Black action camera


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