The sports complex with the De La Salle University campus in the foreground.
|Former names||Rizal Memorial Field|
|Main venue||Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium|
|Other sports facilities|
|Public transit|| Vito Cruz|
|Owner||City Government of Manila|
|Operator||Philippine Sports Commission|
|Philippine Sports Commission|
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) (formerly known as Rizal Memorial Field) is a national sports complex of the Philippines, located on Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz St.), Malate, Manila. It is named in honor of the country's national hero, José Rizal. The complex is currently managed by the Philippine Sports Commission, while the property is owned by the Manila City government. The complex also houses the administrative office of the PSC, and quarters for the Philippine national athletes.
Standing on the site of the former Manila Carnival Grounds, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (then known as Rizal Memorial Field) was constructed in 1927 and was inaugurated in time for the 1934 Far Eastern Championship Games. The land was donated by the Vito Cruz family and the initial sports facilities - the track and football stadium, the baseball stadium, the tennis stadium (later renovated into an indoor arena) and the swimming stadium - were designed by architect Juan Arellano in the Art Deco style. It was planned and built by then-Public Works secretary, Antonio de las Alas. Construction for a multi-purpose arena was begun in the 1960s.
During the Philippine Commonwealth era, the sports complex was used as a civic area and was the site where Manuel Quezon was named one of the presidential candidates in the 1935 elections. It was destroyed during the Battle of Manila of World War II, and reconstructed in 1953 (although the baseball stadium reopened in January 1946 after the floodlights was repaired.) for use in the 1954 Asian Games.
Baseball legends Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth once hit their first and second home runs ever, respectively, in the exhibition game held at the newly built Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium on December 2, 1934.
The Beatles held their infamous, two sold-out concerts in the Philippines on July 4, 1966 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The combined attendance was 80,000, with the evening concert registering 50,000 paying audience and became the Beatles' second largest concert ever.
On November 22, 2016, then-Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced that the city government is making a partnership with businessman Enrique Razon to convert the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into a commercial center which will include a mall and cinemas. The group of Razon had expressed interest for the proposed urban redevelopment and modernization of the RMSC. The plan was to build-up contemporary buildings and commercial structures with modern smart technologies and amenities, as well as more greener open spaces within the property. A sports museum would also be construct here, while the facade of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum would be retained. The PSC had reportedly planned to be transferred the facilities in the proposed Philippine Sports City (now named New Clark City Sports Hub) located in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac. The move was criticized by various heritage groups and athletes, even including de las Alas' surviving daughters with an online petition posted on Change.org was initiated to save the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex amid several reports on the planned redevelopment. Estrada defended the redevelopment of the RMSC, said that no one uses the complex anymore and it became old, and antiquated.
In April 2017, the sports complex was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines ensuring the site's preservation due to the National Cultural Heritage Act.
Because of the declaration, the Razon group later dropped its bid to redevelop the complex and the Philippine Sports Commission halted its negotiations with the Manila City government on the planned sale of RMSC, instead it will be focused on rehabilitating the sports complex. On August 7, 2019, both the PSC and the Manila City government (now under the administration of Mayor Isko Moreno) agreed to not selling the complex.
On June 27, 2019, PSC announced that the complex will be undergo renovation for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, after PAGCOR donated ₱842.5 million pesos to the PSC for the renovation of the complex in April 2019. Renovation work began on July 8, 2019 Unlike the previous renovations which were minor, the complex will have its major makeover for the first time since the rebuilding of the complex in 1953, with the coliseum restoring to its original look, and the addition of new installments to fit with international standards. The renovation of the facilities inside the complex will not only used for the SEA Games, it will also used to host both future local and international tournaments from various sports and it can become home again of the UAAP, NCAA, and the PBA. Proceeds from rentals would be used by the PSC to address the needs of the Filipino athletes.
- Far Eastern Championship Games (1913, 1919, 1925, 1934)
- 1954 Asian Games
- Southeast Asian Games (1981, 1991, 2005, 2019)
- 2005 ASEAN Para Games
- 2006 Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship
|Venue||Purpose||Seating capacity||Year Built||Notes|
|Boxing Gym||Boxing venue||–||–|
|Gymnastics Hall||Gymnastics venue||–||–|
|Ninoy Aquino Stadium||Multi-use||6,000||–||Formerly an open-air stadium which was converted to an indoor arena.|
|Pencak Silat Gym||Pencak silat||–||–|
|Philippine Taekwondo Association Dojang||Taekwondo venue||–||–|
|PSC Badminton Hall||Badminton venue||–||–|
|PSC Bowling Center||Bowling venue||–||–|
|Rizal Memorial Swimming Stadium||Aquatic sports venue||–||1934|
|Rizal Memorial Coliseum||Multi-use||6,100||1934||Formerly the Rizal Memorial Tennis Stadium which was converted to an indoor arena.|
|Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium||Baseball venue||10,000||1934|
|Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium (National Stadium)||Multi-use, primarily athletics and football||12,873||1934|
|Rizal Memorial Tennis Center||Tennis venue||–||–|
|Rizal Memorial Squash Court||Squash venue||–||under construction||Situated between the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Set to hosts the only jumbo doubles squash courts in the Philippines. Construction delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.|
|PSC Administration Building||Office|
|Philippine Center for Sports Medicine||Office|
|Philippine Taekwondo Association Main Office||Office|
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...Department of Justice has already ruled that Manila owns the area [RMSC].
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- Terrado, Reuben (8 July 2019). "Decades-old Rizal Memorial Coliseum gets long-overdue renovation". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond 30th Southeast Asian Games". Spin.ph. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
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- News, ABS-CBN. "Rizal Memorial to be operational as quarantine facility by Monday". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
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- "Squash: After making gains at SEA Games, nat'l team sees virus kill its momentum". ABS-CBN. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
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