Singapore’s new National Stadium and why it’s uhh-mazing

This was unplanned. I was showing a visiting friend how to get to the new Kallang Wave so he could meet his girlfriend. He flew in early morning and stayed at my flat for a few hours. We took the Circle Line MRT to Stadium. Exit A spills out onto an open area right next to Kallang Wave. The mall is brand new so several stores remained unopened.

After meeting our friend and having lunch at Popeyes, we headed up the stairs to see if we could take a few photos. When we got to the West End entrance, families were entering and exiting through the stadium gates. It was open house!

The new National Stadium is the crowning jewel of the Singapore Sports Hub (SSH) which opened in June. Not only is it Singapore’s newest playground, it was built in preparation for the country’s 50th anniversary next year and the bi-annual Southeast Asian Games in 2015.

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It is said to be the largest domed structure in the world. On a side note, the newly-opened Philippine Arena is known as the largest indoor arena (please correct me if I’m wrong!). What makes the National Stadium unique is that entire sections of seats can retract or be re-configured depending on the event. The large dome can also close when it rains.

From the official website:

The 55,000 capacity National Stadium has a retractable seating capability making it the only stadium in the world able to host a multitude of events such as rugby, cricket, football, athletics, concerts, family entertainment shows, national and community events.

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My first impression: WOW

I don’t remember when was the last time I stepped inside a stadium. I’m not sure if a Power Rangers concert I saw in California back in the 1990s was inside of a stadium! Because there are different types and categories of megastructures.

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The country’s national colours of red and white were on the seats. They looked chaotic and random up close, but from a distance it was a beautiful sea of red and white. Like perhaps what Singapore is: diverse up close, harmonious when you zoom out.

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So far a rugby game was the inaugural event that happened here in June. I’m excited to come and watch a football game here and see how the Kallang wave is done.

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Here are some photos around the perimeter:

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The Singapore Sports Hub also features an aquatics centre, indoor arena, sports museum, sports library, and areas for “extreme sports” like skateboarding, etc. There are basketball courts, volleyball courts, and pathways for skaters.

The sports hub is a reflection of Singapore’s active lifestyle and a national pride. None of my photos give it justice (bring your wide-angle lens here!).

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Another nice thing about this place is that it gives visitors an alternative vantage point of Singapore’s skyline. The usual view is from Marina Bay. Here it is peaceful and the sunset was beautiful. You could even spot the Golden Mile Complex. This is a great new spot to hang out and enjoy the skyline. No sounds of traffic either as the highways are in the distance.

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I took a peek inside the new Kallang Wave mall. They have indoor wall climbing. I saw what appeared to look like an old gentleman climbing to the top… like four storeys high!

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I was thinking, omg how could they climb that high?! Then I saw these two girls climbing too. Omg.

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Back outside, people were playing at the park. The place has a tranquil sense to it. Families were around biking together, taking photos, or playing volleyball. It’s perfect. The people who created this place should be proud to see what they’ve achieved.

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How to get to the Singapore Sports Hub? Take the Circle Line MRT to Stadium. Kallang and Mountbatten MRT stations are also nearby and within walking distance to the Singapore Sports Hub.

Oh and… happy 49th birthday, Singapore! Thanks for welcoming me and being my home for the past two years.


2 comments

  1. Great post, so many photos. Very detailed. I would love to get back to Singapore and see this (as well as Lau Pa Sat). I hope to do so for the 50th anniversary, but probably before that too! I did not know about the Kallang Wave mall either. I know you went to Popeye’s, but were there any decent Asian food outlets there?

    Like

  2. Mostly commercial establishments and fast food restaurants so far. Kallang Wave is just setting up. However, within walking distance from Singapore Sports Hub is Geylang district which has more authentic local food if you haven’t been there yet. It should be about a 10 minute walk away.

    Come by in August 2015 to witness the country celebrate its 50th year. I’m sure there are loads of festivities. 🙂

    Like


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