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Hanoi to Spend $6.4m on My Dinh Upgrades to Prepare for SEA Games

The VND150 billion (US$6.4 million) upgrade will include replacing the grass and repairing the broken track.

The stadium is set to be the site of the upcoming SEA Games' football matches, athletic events and the opening and closing ceremonies. VnExpress reports that the improvements will begin in late October and continue until spring.

The national sports complex had already spent US$1.71 million on upgrades to its track and field facilities, but the track itself is so deteriorated that it has been able to host no national competitions since 2012, the same year when the football field's grass was last replaced. 

The budget for the upgrades and the entire SEA Games was recently cut in half so that funds could be allocated to efforts to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Once the construction is complete, representatives from the International Association of Athletics Federations will inspect and certify that the track meets standards for international competitions. “We have also sent the documents to the Quality Assurance Department of Ministry of Construction to approve the project soon," the stadium's acting director, Nguyen Viet Tien, told the news source. 

The work will force the men's national football squad to temporarily find other venues to play. The National Championships and Athletics Tournament in November should be able to proceed as scheduled, though officials are exploring alternatives, including moving the event to Saigon. 

The next SEA Games is set to take place from November 21 to December 2, 2021. It will be Vietnam's second time hosting the international event; the last time was in 2003.

[Photo via TheThao247]