Jakarta. Renovations of Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, which will serve as the main venue for the 2018 Asian Games, have been completed, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing said on Friday (12/01).
State-owned construction company Adhi Karya started the Rp 779.9 billion ($58.4 million) renovation of the stadium, used for football and athletics events, in August 2016 to prepare it for the games, hosted by Indonesia in August this year.
"Renovation of the main stadium is 100 percent complete and it is now ready for the Asian Games," the ministry said in a statement.
The Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, has facilities for various sporting codes, including tennis, swimming, basketball, badminton, archery, hockey, athletics, softball, football and baseball. It was named after Sukarno, Indonesia's first president, who initiated construction of the complex for the 1962 Asian Games.
The newly revamped stadium will host its first event on Sunday, when the Indonesian national football team hosts Iceland in a friendly game.
"President Joko Widodo is scheduled to inaugurate the stadium on Sunday, and he will watch the game afterwards," Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in the statement.
The minister said facilities at the stadium now comply with international standards.
"I have heard that the lighting system at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium is one of the best in the world," Basuki said, referring to the brightness level of 3,500 lux, which is three times higher than before.
Besides the lighting, the stadium's sound system was also upgraded, while standardized seats were installed to replace the old benches, which did not provide spectators with allocated individual seats.
However, this has reduced the stadium's seating capacity by 10,000 to 80,000.
"The single-seat system was chosen to conform to FIFA safety standards, which require that it must be possible to evacuate the stadium within 15 minutes in case of an emergency," the minister said.
Apart from the main stadium, renovations of the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex are currently 99 percent complete and it should be ready in time for the Asian Games, he added.
"Almost all sporting venues [inside the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex] are completed and we will ask President Jokowi to inaugurate them one by one," Basuki said.