Time's up for King George's Stand; Jalan Besar Stadium capacity down to 6,500
King George's Stand, the temporary seating section at Jalan Besar Stadium, to come down
After scoring the LionsXII's first-ever goal in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) in 2012 against Kelantan, defender Baihakki Khaizan hurdled over the advertising boards and celebrated with the home fans in a packed King George's Stand behind the goal atthe Jalan Besar Stadium.
It was a memorable moment cherished by the Singapore international and everyone in the local football fraternity.
Football celebrations in the King George's Stand will be no more, though, after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed yesterday that the 1,500-capacity facility, which had cost sponsors Kingsmen more than $250,000 to build, will be dismantled in November.
This will reduce the stadium's capacity from 8,000 to 6,500.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, FAS deputy director of development and planning Benjamin Tan said: "We appreciate the understanding and approvals of the relevant authorities in granting extensions for the continued use of the King George's Stand at Jalan Besar Stadium over the past three years.
"We are also thankful to our partners, including Kingsmen and Sport Singapore, for their support towards our continuous efforts in bringing more fans together.
"With an approximate capacity of 1,500, the King George's Stand enabled us to increase the seating capacity of the stadium, which in turn allowed more fans to turn up and support our teams in action over the past few years.
"The final extension for the use of the temporary seating structures expired on Aug 29, and the dismantling and reinstatement works will commence in November.
"We will continue to work with our stakeholders and partners and explore various ways of enhancing match-day and viewing experience for our fans."
The last time the King George's Stand was used in an MSL match was on Aug 8 against Pahang, when the LionsXII won 4-2.
It has since been sealed off for the last few home games.
While it has seen better days, such as capacity crowds in 2012 and 2013 when the LionsXII finished MSL runners-up and champions, respectively, attendances at the Jalan Besar Stadium have declined in recent years, with an average of 5,000.
Even though the grandstand and gallery would be packed for certain games, the King George's Stand was regularly a huge swathe of emptiness, although it did enjoy a turnaround during the SEA Games football tournament held here in June.
While a Sport Singapore spokesman said that it is open to similar arrangements in the future, there are no current plans to further increase the capacity at Jalan Besar Stadium.
"The final extension for the use of the temporary seating structures expired on Aug 29, and the dismantling and reinstatement works will commence in November."
- FAS deputy director of development and planning Benjamin Tan