Rajamangala National Stadium
The Rajamangala National Stadium (Thai: ราชมังคลากีฬาสถาน; RTGS: Ratchamangkhala Kila Sathan, pronounced [râːt.t͡ɕʰā.māŋ.kʰā.lāː kīː.lāː sā.tʰǎːn]) is the national stadium of Thailand and the home stadium for the Thailand national football team. It is part of the Hua Mak Sports Complex, and is located in Hua Mak Subdistrict, Bang Kapi, Bangkok. It officially opened in 1998.
It was first used for the 1998 Asian Games in 1998 and 1999 ASEAN University Games in 1999. Since then, it has been used for many international matches and football tournaments. Most notably, for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. Thai club sides have also used the stadium when playing in continental cup competitions. Krung Thai Bank FC (now Bangkok Glass FC) used it for AFC Champions League matches, and PEA FC and Chonburi FC have recently used it in the AFC Cup. Aside from football, it has been used for athletics, pop concerts and political rallies.
Rajamangala Stadium was designed by the Faculty of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University. The main material used in construction was concrete and therefore, though the stadium is impressive and imposing, it could never be described as beautiful. However, it is undoubtedly dramatic. The stands rise and fall like a giant, exaggerated version of Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium. At each end are quite narrow tiers of seats but the tiers rise and rise as they move round the sides until they peak level with the half-way line. From an aesthetic point of view, the stadium is best viewed from a distance, preferably from the air, where the elliptical shape of the side tribunes seems particularly pronounced.
The aforementioned side tribunes are designated 'East' and 'West'. 'East' is the uncovered popular side; 'West' is the covered side where the more expensive seats are. The two ends are designated 'North' and 'South'. 'North' is the more popular of the two. It's where the more vocal and colourful elements of the Thai support congregate.
The capacity of the stadium is 65,000. When the stadium first opened the capacity was 80,000. But plastic seats were installed on the North, South and East sides, where previously there had been bare concrete steps, in readiness for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.
The stadium is not served by public transport which has always been a source of frustration for fans. No Bangkok Skytrains, subway-trains or normal overground trains stop anywhere near the stadium (unlike at the National Stadium, which is served by the Skytrain - National Stadium BTS station). However, there are buses and taxis which pass fairly close to the stadium. In 2010 Airport Rail Link was completed which means that the stadium is served by the City Line at - Ramkhamhaeng Station. From 2022 MRT Orange Line will be open and Rajamangala Stadium Station will be located in front of the stadium.
The stadium hosted the 2012 Race of Champions.
On 24 November 2013, a crowd estimated at 100,000 joined the rally around Bangkok's Democracy Monument in an anti-government protest, according to the Democrat Party, as pro-government red shirts gathered at Rajamangala Sports Stadium.
Other stadiums in Bangkok include the Thai Army Sports Stadium, the Thai-Japanese Stadium and Chulalongkorn University Stadium.