New stadium: The royal national stadium of Bhutan
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
It’s a remote and troubled country, but you won’t find another stadium like their national one. Beautifully decorated and built in dramatic landscape of the capital city.
Located over 2,300m above sea level (7,600 feet), in an almost magical landscape, Thimphu doesn’t even have 100,000 inhabitants, but that’s enough to be the largest city of Bhutan. Citizens live in a narrow valley between mountains, which had its toll on football infrastructure. Currently there are only two full-sized fields (both synthetic) there, because finding 10,000 m2 of flat land is a challenge.
One of these fields lies at the national stadium in Changlimithang, from where the building took its name. It was built in 1974 to mark the coronation of the 4th king of Bhutan. At that point it offered a grandstand for 10,000 people in the west (based on land slope) and a modest pavilion in the east.
In 2007-2008, this time on the occasion of 5th king’s coronation, the stadium was rebuilt. The large terrace was replaced by far greater structure of 21 rows. It now writhes beyond the stadium, also providing auditorium for adjacent archery range. Upon opening it had capacity of 30,000 people, but following installation of seats in 2016 that size has decreased.
Vast majority of spectators occupy the western stand, but the pavilion with infrastructure and VIP spaces has also been expanded during the 2007-2008 reconstruction. It received two wings, now spanning almost along the field. This beautifully decorated building has an amazing landscape in the background, but come to think of it – so does every other part of this stadium!
Since 2011 the field also has floodlights, sponsored by the Indian energy company Tata. Extending the time of field’s availability comes in handy with half of the Bhutanese league using this stadium as their home, not even mentioning all international games.
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