Central not only for the city, but the whole province. Largest stadium in Indonesian Riau joins our DB today, but is also the last venue you asked us to nominate for the Stadium of the Year 2012 award. Be sure to check it out before you vote!
According to plans from 2009, it was supposed to hold almost 44,000 people, but detailed documentation and number of seats ordered in Malaysia proved that capacity is significantly lower than predicted, at 40,700. That’s still enough for it to be the largest stadium in Riau Province, thus the name Stadion Utama Riau (Riau Central Stadium).
It’s one of not so many stadiums in Indonesia that provide all-seating accommodation for fans and cover throughout the stands. Roof and façade structure makes the stadium resemble a spaceship with massive beams sloping well over the spectator areas, providing cover almost for infrastructure behind the stands. And to provide sunlight access and ventilation, only part of the external cladding was made with tin, while impressive horizontal blinds allow air and sun to enter inside.
With budget at 800 billion rupiah ($83m, €62m) it’s not expensive for Western conditions, but in Indonesia’s scale it was seen as quite a lot. Criticism came after ‘unneeded expenses’ like buying stadium’s turf in Australia.
The stadium was opened in September 2012 for national sports games. In 2013 a bigger event is planned here, the Islamic Solidarity Games. As for football, initial plan was to bring the Super League side PSPS Pekanbaru here, but as the club had poor relations with provincial authorities, no agreement was reached. Instead, another Super League team, Semen Padang, was forced to move in as their home ground was found not fit for games.