Stadiums must benefit nearby community, not merely for football: Dell Akbar

Stadiums must benefit nearby community, not merely for football: Dell Akbar

New Shah Alam Sports Complex should include public recreational parks, facilitate youth entrepreneurship

The planned redevelopment of Shah Alam Sports Complex must benefit the surrounding community by including designs for public recreational parks and enable youths to set up their businesses, says Datuk Dell Akbar Khan.

KUALA LUMPUR – A stadium should not be “selfish” and be solely purposed for football, but also serve the community around it, said former national footballer Datuk Dell Akbar Khan.

The former Selangor FC player said the club’s new home which is due for redevelopment needs to look at how the surrounding community can benefit from the new Shah Alam Sports Complex (KSSA).

“You can’t be selfish and just be asking for yourself. Look at the people around the area, how can they gain from the project?

“That is why the stadium is designed in a way that it also includes the needs of families,” he told The Vibes at the Selangor FC jersey launch held during the KSSA public engagement session.

Dell said the project’s plan which includes recreational areas for the public will also give youth the opportunity to get involved in their own business.

“There are a lot of youngsters now who set up pop-up stalls and food trucks.

“That is why you need to balance the requirements of the community and not just focus on football alone.

“The footballers are already giving their best, so why not extend the same hospitality to other groups?”

He said the new stadium’s changeable pitch will also ensure that the grass’ condition is always at its best, while also allowing the structure to be used for other purposes, such as concerts.

“After matches, the pitch gets destroyed, so you need time for maintenance and repair work.

“If you put a structure on the pitch for a concert or any other event, it will be there for about a week where the grass will not get the sunlight it needs and will be affected,” he said.

From a game’s perspective, Dell said Selangor FC players are getting facilities that players during his time could have ever imagined.

“They will have better dressing rooms, pitch, and atmosphere from the fans. From a player’s perspective, what else can you demand?

“The only thing left is for you as a player to get the best out of yourself. There is nothing more that an association can give you in terms of player preparation.

“They will also have a pitch that won’t be waterlogged. Back then we used to run around a pitch that felt like a paddy field,” he added.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam residents also echoed the former footballer’s comments, saying that the project’s focus on non-football-related facilities is something to look forward to.

Loyal Selangor FC fans appear excited about the planned redevelopment of the Shah Alam Sports Complex after years of having to watch their team play at other stadiums. – AZIM RAHMAN/The Vibes pic, January 28, 2023

“It is really good to have more greenery because we don’t have many parks in Shah Alam.

“We are very excited to have a place that we can go to just enjoy being outdoors with all the proper facilities around us,” Shah Alam resident Fisa told The Vibes.

Selangor FC fan Alif said the past few years of not being able to catch his favourite team at the Shah Alam Stadium will soon come to an end.

“I have been staying here for five years. To know that a new stadium will be here soon is very exciting.

“We have been sharing other stadiums. I can’t wait to be back somewhere we can all call home,” he said.

To encourage public feedback on the project, Menteri Besar Selangor Incorporated is currently running a public engagement session for the KSSA at the SACC Mall in Shah Alam.

source – The Vibes

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