The plan is to ensure that the stadium not only draws local crowds but also becomes a must-see cultural attraction in Bangkok, recreating the glory of the old and much-missed city centre venue.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is an essential part of the history of Muay Thai in the kingdom and has helped promote the sport internationally. Many fans and tourists came from all over the world to watch the bouts and many new fans of the sport were created.
“Now, Muay Thai’s new home on Ram Intra Road will continue this tradition.Thanks to the modern design and enhanced facilities, spectators will be able to enjoy this ancient sport in even greater comfort. We expect the new stadium to attract crowds in huge numbers to see the amazing combat skills of local and international Muay Thai fighters.”
The old Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on Rama IV Road was Thailand’s most legendary boxing venue.
Managed by the Royal Thai Army, its aim was to promote the arts of Muay Thai both locally and internationally by hosting regular fights between professional Thai and foreign kick-boxers as well as providing a venue for amateur boxers to learn the skills and make a name for themselves. The stadium hosted its first official fight on 15 March 1956 and the last fighters traded blows there on 7 February 2014 before the announcement was made to open a new site on Ram Intra Road.
This state-of-the-art new stadium has seating for 5,000 spectators and space for cultural exhibitions. In addition, there is a Muay Thai Training School, and outlets selling souvenirs and equipment. Spectators will be able to enjoy the fights even more, as there are better viewing angles and high-tech screens that help them follow the action.
Mr. Thawatchai said, “We feel that this new stadium will soon become a real cultural attraction in Bangkok with all the atmosphere and action of its predecessor but combined with ultra-modern facilities. What’s more, the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium isn’t merely a fight venue. It is also a place where people can come and learn about the traditions of this aged-old martial art and its importance to Thai culture. This is why the TAT is going to be working closely with the owners to promote events here and enhance the reputation of the sport across the world.”
The new venue can be easily reached by taking the Skytrain to Mor Chit station or the MRT to PhahonYothin before taking a taxi to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. For more information, visit www.muaythailumpinee.net
While the new stadium is sure to become a greatly loved venue, there are ten other important Muay Thai stadiums in Thailand.
- The legendary Rajadamnern Stadium on Bangkok’s RajadamnernNok road. This is a popular place for young tourists to come and watch Muay Thai bouts and enjoy the unique atmosphere. (www. rajadamnern.com)
- Channel 7 Stadium is the venue for the televised matches that are enjoyed all over the country.
- Imperial World Stadium on the 6th floor of Lat Phrao.
- Omnoi Stadium on Phetchchakasem Road offer the most affordable fights with tickets ranging from 200-600 baht.
- The Rangsit International Boxing Stadium (www.muaythai-
institute.net) on Bangkok’s outskirts was established in 1995 and is the first Muay Thai institute with a course of study and a curriculum.
- The coastal city of Pattaya has two Muay Thai stadiums: Pattaya Boxing World (www.pattayaboxingworld.
com) in North Pattaya which is a popular venue for international boxers to come and train in Muay Thai and Thapprasit Stadium (www. superfightthepprasitpattaya. com) which is near to the city’s famous night life district and models itself on the Rajadamnern and Lumpinee Stadiums.
- The island province of Phuket has two stadiums, both popular training venues. The Bangkla Boxing Stadium, (www.
banglaboxingstadiumpatong.com) on Patong Beach, is the island’s biggest, while the Suwit Muay Thai Stadium, (www.bestmuaythai.com), is a good place to see amateur and professional fighters practice their boxing skills under the direction of professional coaches.
- Phetch Buncha Samui Stadium (www.
phetchbunchastadium.com) on the island of Samui can be found near the famous Chaweng Beach and is a venue where amateur and professional boxers hold regular boxing bouts.