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  • Justin Grimm

New Khan-Uul Stadium Hosting League Matches

Mongolia has seen a boom of stadium construction and renovation in recent years. These projects have provided professional environments for the sport to grow in and out of the capital. Since its opening in 2002, the MFF Football Centre Stadium has been home to all clubs of upwards of six or more leagues and competitions running simultaneously. This has caused a scheduling nightmare at the facility and forced many matches to be played on less-than-ideal days and times.

Now the National Football Centre gets some relief as the 500-seat Khan-Uul Stadium in the 8th Khoroo of the Khan-Uul District of Ulaanbaatar moves into full operation .

Final design rendering of the "MFF Arena" with other sports venues under construction in the background

On 19 October 2019, FIFA president Gianni Infantino lead a ceremony to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Mongolian Football Federation and officially hand over the completed turf field on the property to the association. Construction was started on the project near the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Palace the previous year as part of the FIFA Forward 1.0 initiative.

According to FIFA, the Forward initiative is a way to share the wealth created from holding the World Cup with developing nations and to help football reach its full potential in every member nation, without barriers.

The field, which was designed with field dimensions of 115m x 85m, meets the standards to hold "A" international tournaments and matches.

Handing-over ceremony with FIFA president Gianni Infantino on 19 October 2019

As part of Mongolia's plan for hosting the upcoming 2023 East Asian Youth Games, it was decided to construct the field into a full stadium, including a covered grandstand, seating, and media and team facilities. The project was funded by the state budget and donations. The area around the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Palace, which was until recently rather undeveloped, will become a major sports destination with the addition of the stadium and winter sports arena which is also under construction for the games, in addition to major housing projects necessary to support the population shift into the capital.

On 13 August 2020 ground was broken on a new MFF technical centre which will be adjacent to the stadium. Construction was to be funded by a one billion tugrug (approximately 770,000 USD) sponsorship deal with one of Mongolia's largest banks. Grand Avgush, LLC was lead contractor for the technical centre construction.

By May 2021 construction of the stadium was estimated by local government officials to be fifty percent complete. The process was delayed by the slow material shipments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction photo circa October 2021

Construction on the stadium is expected to wrap in March 2023. Now that the stadium is nearly complete , it is being put to use. In addition to hosting trainings for the national teams, the Khan-Uul Stadium has become the new home of matches of the Mongolian Second League, the third tier league in the country. Matches were held at the MFF Football Centre until the second week of May 2022 when the vast majority transitioned to the new arena. The first Second League match at the facility was a 14-0 demolishing of Deren FC 2 by Tuuliin Tom Tunuud FC on 9 May.

The Khan-Uul Stadium also hosted a handful of First League matches throughout its season and all matches of the 2022/23 National Amateur Cup (fourth division) which concluded in September 2022.

While the leagues and matches hosted at the Khan-Uul Stadium are surely going to evolve as time progresses, it is highly unlikely that it will supplant the MFF Football Centre as the main home of football in Ulaanbaatar. Nonetheless, having another venue in the city is a good thing for everyone involved in the sport in the country.

Construction progress in May 2021

A view toward the main stand during a league match between Shonkhoruud FC and Alliance ZHR on 2 July 2022

A view away from the stand during a snowy match between Khan-Uul Club and Khukh Arslanguud FC in October 2022



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