ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club (JDT) officially moves to its new ‘home’ at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, here, with the opening of the stadium, tonight.
The launching of the stadium, which began construction in 2016 and was fully completed this year at a cost of RM200 million, was performed by the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
Also present at the ceremony were the Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah and owner of JDT, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail.
The others present were Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal, State Secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and Johor Football Association (PBNJ) president Datuk Ismail Karim.
Tunku Ismail, through a statement which was distributed to the media, said the opening of the stadium was another new chapter in the history of the club.
“The last seven years have been great both on and off the field for JDT ... and the opening of the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium marks another milestone for the Southern Tigers squad.
“JDT has grown exponentially since the club’s founding in 2013 and today we have succeeded in overcoming the norms of Malaysian football... (whereby are) constantly striving to create new benchmarks that will surely raise standards and challenge the limits at the international level, “said Tunku Ismail.
Meanwhile, the opening ceremony was also enlivened by international singer Leona Lewis and two Johor-born artists Ayai and Akim, followed by a fireworks display.
The crowd started flooding the stadium as early as 3 pm to look forward to the opening and to attend the carnival which was filled with performances by local artistes and interesting activities.
Located on a 11.3-hectare site, which also housed the JDT headquarters, the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium is the only national football stadium to use the original ‘Zeon Zoysia’ grass which had been tested and also had a drainage system that can keeps water from stagnating in the field.
Capable of accommodating over 35,000 spectators, the stadium also came with modern LED spotlights and multi-color and multi-rhythm building lights.
The best destination for the sport of football would be an iconic landmark and a must-visit for visitors and families by having various booths, souvenir shops and restaurants which would soon be opened.