INC- World's biggest dome-arena in the Philippines to host AFF Suzuki Cup in 2016
Football has been steadily rising in popularity in the Philippines in recent years and following their successful qualifiers for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) have officially declared its intention to host the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2016.
PFF is confident that they will be awarded the privilege to host the tournament and host it in their new and soon-to-be world's biggest dome-arena, named the Philippines Arena.
Works for the 50,000 capacity new stadium was inaugurated on August 17, 2011, and was the brainchild of Iglesia ni Cristo, one of the largest Church movement in the Philippines.
The stadium has a floor area of 74,000 square meters and its domed roof is nearly 36,000 square meters making it the largest dome arena in the world and costing a whopping USD 213 million.
"The PFF submitted a bid to host the Final Round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016," said Ed Gastanes, PFF's secretary general to InterAKTV.
"We hope to see completion (of Bulacan) in late 2014 of the football and track stadium and hope that in 2016, the PFF will be allowed to make use of the stadium for international competition."
PFF is also set to have a new home of its own after they failed to reach an agreement with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for ownership of the current Azkal's homeground, the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
PSC is planning to improve on its facilities and convert the playing surface from natural grass to artificial turf and was initially supposed to come under the supervision of Fifa as part of its Goal project.
But Fifa has ruled that under the agreement, PFF must gain full control of the venue, thus ending talk of cooperation between the PFF and PSC.
With no end to the deadlock, PFF is eyeing a plot of land in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and hopes to build a new home for the Azkals with additional training facilities.
Malaysia and Thailand hosted the 2012 Suzuki Cup and the next edition, to be held in 2014 has seen interest from Vietnam and champions Singapore, with the hosts expected to be announced by ASEAN Football Federation soon.