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There's room for mid-sized stadium in heartland

The National Stadium used to be the home of our national football team, where they need not worry about availability or cost.

Ever since the revamp of the stadium, many issues have arisen, from the high cost to hold events there to the sandy pitch.

The performance of the national football team in the past few years has also been lacklustre and it has been unable to draw large crowds.

With low crowd turnouts and the high cost of using the stadium, it does not seem feasible to hold tournaments such as the Merlion Cup at the National Stadium. Without a mid-sized alternative stadium, this will continue to be a problem.

Singapore has a number of sports stadiums, with the National Stadium having the biggest capacity of 55,000. The next biggest is the Jalan Besar Stadium, which can host 8,000 spectators.

With our population growing, along with a growing need for spaces to congregate, we should have a mid-sized stadium of a capacity of 15,000 to 25,000 in the heartland. Perhaps upgrading one of the existing stadiums in the heartland, such as in Bishan or Yio Chu Kang, to a 20,000-capacity stadium would create a more vibrant sporting atmosphere.

This could also allow our national football team to have another home which can be filled to capacity.

Ivan Goh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 12, 2016, with the headline 'There's room for mid-sized stadium in heartland'. Print Edition | Subscribe