ISKANDAR PUTERI, Johor: Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) unveiled its new stadium on Saturday evening (Feb 22) with a spectacular lights and fireworks display.
The state-of-the-art sporting venue, which cost RM200 million (US$47.74 million) to build, can hold up to 40,000 spectators and is situated in the Iskandar Puteri region.
It is named the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, after current Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, and was designed based on the shape of a banana leaf.
The pitch is made using natural grass approved by Fifa and has a drainage system that prevents water logging.
It is also equipped with LED floodlights as well as colourful facade lights to enhance spectator experience.
The stadium's opening marks a new chapter in the club’s history books.
The new venue replaces JDT’s previous home ground — the Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium, which was in Larkin and had a seating capacity of around 30,000.
The stadium had been JDT's home ground since 2013 and during this period, the club won 13 trophies, including their six consecutive Malaysia Super League titles.
Commenting on the unveiling, JDT's owner and Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said: "The past seven years have been amazing both on and off the pitch for JDT and the opening of this Sultan Ibrahim Stadium marks another feather in the cap for the Southern Tigers."
"As a club, JDT have come a long way since its inception in 2013. Today we have successfully overcome the norm in Malaysia football, strived to set new benchmarks that have inevitably raised standards and challenged boundaries on the international front," he added.
The stadium's opening on Saturday culminated with a fireworks display that lit up the sky for around 15 minutes.
The gala event was attended by Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Ismail, members of the Johor State government as well as tens of thousands of JDT supporters.
They were treated to a techno light show, including luminescent creations of JDT's mascot - the Malayan Tiger - climbing the stadium roof accompanied by vivid growls.
The tiger, outlined in glittering lights, appeared to move around the stadium as a result of sequenced illumination of different silhouettes.
Grammy award winner and British singer Leona Lewis also performed her hit Bleeding Love to roars from the crowd.
The stadium sits on 140,000 sq m of land that also houses the JDT Headquarters.
A training centre, shopping outlets, merchandise stores and restaurants are also set to be built in the area.