Since the 1930s, it has hosted major soccer tournaments and some international matches. When a new tartan track was built, in preparation for hosting the 1981 Southeast Asian Games, the stadium became a center for athletics and the football fieldslowly deteriorated. Gradually, the Rizal Memorial proved unsuitable for international matches, and the Philippine national team would have to play its home games in another stadium.
In early 2009, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) announced a plan to renovate the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the sports complex of which the stadium is part. The restoration includes the removal of the athletic track, in order to transform the venue into a modern football stadium. The PSC is committed to raising funds from the private sector and the government, totaling at least ₱50 million for the renovation, which is scheduled for the last quarter of 2009. As of February 2010, the PSC is still waiting for a private partner to co-finance the project, so the original schedule for the renovation project is delayed.
The stadium renovation is one of the PSC’s many projects to help clubs and the national team be more competitive. Although the transformation of the Rizal Memorial into a soccer-specific stadium has convinced skeptics, the movement to revive football is not happening locally.
Despite the doubts, it was announced in February 2010 that plans for the renovation were to begin in March with the participation of La Salle-Manila University, with the project expected to last six months. Athletes in training are redirected to the PhilSports Complex or the PSC training center in Baguio.
The stadium hosts its first test match when the Philippines hosts the 2012 Asian Rugby Five Nations Tournament, which doubles as a qualifying tournament for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The posts were installed just days before the tournament.
Latest Update - 19.09.2021