AFTER the Rizal Memorial Stadium football field is converted from natural to artificial grass, the next plan is to increase the seating capacity from 14,000 to between 25,000 and 30,000.
“The second program for Rizal is to put a second floor sa bleachers sa open area to increase the capacity,” Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia said.
The PSC and the Philippine Football Federation are expected to sign the memorandum of agreement, which will lease out the stadium for 25 years, next week.
Once signed, the pitch upgrade will start right away and will take from 60 to 90 days.
If the renovation begins at the end of July and is finished on the estimated date, the brand-new pitch could make it in time for the Azkals’ potential home game in the Asean Football Federation Cup semifinals.
“Definitely that’s our target,” Garcia said.
The Azkals reached the semifinals of the AFF Cup for the first time in 2010. Against Indonesia, the Philippine team was forced to play its “home” game in Jakarta because the Philippines had no field that is up to Fifa standards. The Azkals lost to the Indonesians on a 2-0 aggregate score.