Penang will construct a hockey stadium that meets international standards in Bukit Mertajam next year. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state needed its own permanent hockey stadium for the state hockey team to train.
“Penang only has one hockey field recognised by the International Hockey Federation, which is at Universiti Sains Malaysia,” he said.
AEI International director Datuk Joseph Kow , who is also Penang Hockey Association president, said they aimed to complete the stadium before September next year. He said the stadium would be a catalyst in developing talent in the northern region.
“When you do not have a proper turf, how do you play an international game?”
The new stadium will cost RM7.5 million and will be built through a public-private partnership between the Penang government and AEI International Bhd. Under an agreement signed today, the Penang government will pay RM4 million while AEI will pay the remaining RM3.5 million.
Construction will begin on a 2.4ha plot of land beside the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) Stadium on Jalan Betek in Bukit Mertajam, pending planning approval from MPSP.The stadium, which will be built according to the standards of the sport’s governing body, Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), will feature a 500-seat grandstand and high-grade artificial turf.
It will when lit up ensure that live telecast standards are met. It will be the 22nd FIH-certified stadium in the country, In the absence of any usable fields in the state, the Penang hockey team has resorted to travelling to the Kedah Hockey Stadium in Sungai Petani for training every weekend.