Kallang National Stadium

The construction of the National Stadium of Singapore started in 1966 and was completed in 1973. Situated at the Kallang Basin area, it was built at the former premises of the Kallang Airport.

On 21st July 1973, former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew conducted the official opening of the National Stadium. Singapore, after its independence in 1965, finally had a respectable stadium to host local and international events. It soon became an iconic landmark and a source of national pride for the people. Throughout its history, the 55,000-capacity stadium had hosted three Southeast Asian Games (1973, 83, 93) and 18 National Day Parades.

Perhaps the greatest memories of the National Stadium came from the days of the Malaysia Cup, where Singapore participated and won the tournament three times in 1977, 80 and 94. The hardcore football fans, packed fully into the stadium and sat closely to each other on the concrete slab seating, would never forget the famous Kallang Roar as well as the Mexican Wave that circled round the stadium during the cheering for the home team.

Cheers, chants and drums once filled the stadium with emotions running high.

“Referee kayu!!” or “Referee bodoh (stupid)!!” One often could hear the fans’ blasting of the referee whenever mistakes were made.

Famous football clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Celtic once played their friendlies at the National Stadium.

Beside sporting events, the National Stadium had also hosted numerous concerts by superstars such as Michael Jackson, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Steve Wonder and Zhang Hui Mei.

At the end of June 2007, the National Stadium was closed officially, bring down the curtains of its glittering 44-year history. It was to be demolished to make way for the new integrated Sports Hub. However, due to the delays of the new project, the stadium continued to host the East Asian, Asean and World Cup qualifying games until 2010.

The stadium started its demolition in September 2010. By November, two of its four iconic flood lights were removed and half of its structure torn down. The National Stadium was totally flattened by the New Year of 2011. A headline hit the news soon after when a valuable time capsule, buried on 23 February 1970 and contained newspaper articles, coins, dollar notes, books and sport memorabilia, went missing and could be found.

Published: 14 November 2010

Updated: 01 November 2016

21 Responses to Kallang National Stadium

  1. Philip Chew says:

    Kallang Park is not what it was in the 1960s. There was no National Stadium, theatre, Oasis, leisure park etc. The park was a big open area with facilites for little children to play.There were swings, merry-go-round, slides, sea-saws, tunnels for hide seek, sand pit, etc. A trade exhibition once held there.

    See Kallang Park 1960s at http://pchew-nostalgia.blogspot.com

  2. Basic says:

    Hey, the McDonalds at Marine Cove aka East Coast Park is closing next month! Should feature it and visit it before it closes.

    • Thanks for the update…
      The new landlord National Parks Board (NParks) has taken over that area from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), and the 30-year-old McDonald’s outlet, as well as the other tenants there, will have to end their businesses.
      Oh my, I had great memories of the Marine Cove McDonald’s

  3. Diyana says:

    Let me see… I went for Sea Games closing ceremony 94 where my bro particpate. I watched MJ concert ther. I watched a National Day Parde with my then boyfriend. And recently the last we watched was Singapore VS Liverpool match. Great times!

  4. My first visit to the National Stadium was for the opening ceremony of the 1973 SEAP Games (pre-cursor to the SEA Games). As I grew up, my fondest memories of the place was way back in the 80’s when I used to workout very frequently at the rusty old stinky gym with Tan Howe Liang as “caretaker”. It was cheap and you could spend the whole day working out for the price of $1.50!! My last visit to the stadium was when they converted the “open-air “gym to an air-conditioned one… So sad another national gem demolished for the sake of progress..

    • lau ah pek says:

      and not forgetting the squash courts below the stands.on cup gasmes day, my gang would skipped our studies justto be the first to get into the stadium for thebestgalleret seats made of wohsrd woodem slabs and have our picnic cum dinner before the m.cup game starts.such glorious wonderful unforgettable younger days.

  5. Jarett says:

    Do a write up on the National Theatre of Singapore. It was Singapore’s first monument to commemorate self government but it was eventually torn down!

  6. othman says:

    I used to walk all the way from Queen Street to the stadium whenever got the opportunity to watch Malaysian Cup. The only bus from Woodlands to Stadium was bus service 170. So proud shouting like mad to support Singapore Team. To avoid inconvenience, I had to prepare to leave the stadium 5 minutes before ending time. So crowded and ever reached more than 80 thousands spectaters. With less pocket money, nothing to buy tipbits or drinks while enjoying the game. So sad.

  7. Laura says:

    I used to train at the National Stadium for my school sports days during 1978 to 1981…there used to be a gym that is free to public. Then there were also those people walking around selling drinks and snacks during events like soccer and school sports day….wonderful memories..

    • russell says:

      Dear Laura, your comment struck through my nostalgic school days when it was not so stressful then,.for me it was athletic training on mon,wed and fri evenings @ the stadium.,..tue n thurs was football training at the nearby stadium practice track…because my school was nearby…we played tennis n squash too there…a&w was the pit stop…duran duran n wham was cool back then..such nice memories! thankyou

  8. Little Pixie says:

    Im longing for pictures of the 3 octagon buildings which used to house a chinese restaurant and a tea dance.. Remember?

  9. Benches from former National Stadium get new lease of life


    They have supported countless Singaporeans through National Day parades, sports events and music concerts.

    And now, the seating planks from the former National Stadium will get a new lease of life thanks to a “bench” design competition organised by creative company, FARM.

    The competition which was jointly presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the SingaporeFurniture Industries Council (SFIC) saw 130 entries.

    Singaporeans who have been to the now demolished National Stadium at Kallang will recognise these distinctive planks.

    Architect Chang Yong Ter deliberately used the material in its raw and unvarnished form which he said mirrored the raw fighting spirit often seen at the venue.

    And he cheekily titled his work “The Kallang Raw”.

    The bench has another unique feature. It must always be placed in a certain direction.

    “Wherever this bench is being placed, it has to point symbolically back to where the stadium is. This is a very special project to commemorate our old national stadium,” Chang explained.

  10. Mark says:

    Just to side track, do sports stadiums in the heartlands evoke any memories? By end June 2013, the sports stadium along Tampines Ave 5 had been demolished. This venue (1988-2013) had witnessed the growth of Tampines into a Regional Centre. Before 1992, the plot of land where Century Square and other adjacent commercial buildings now sits on was still an empty field. The sports facility also hosted school sports days, S-League matches and the place for nearby residents to go for their daily workouts throughout its opening hours.

  11. Tarakan says:

    Kallang Stadium has now changed to Sports Hub completing soon and let us know when it opens. Memories of the old stadium still lives on with the epic Lion Roar. whenever a big clash soccer match eg Singapore VS Thailand or Malaysia. There is a new MRT station called Stadium MRT running on the Circle Line which is located right next to the Sports Hub. To get to know the route there, please visit http://www.mynetbizz.com/map/singapore/changi-airport/stadium-to-changi-airport-mrt.cfm

  12. Tom says:

    Hey RS,

    Great post! Do check out our post of the new National Stadium at the Sports Hub as well!

    Happy Travels!


  13. hayden fun says:

    the sports hub can close the roof . it take about 10 minutes to close everything .

  14. ... says:

    i went to the sport hub and found out that the wave thingy is still alive . u know the kallang wave thing , it still alibe]

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