Kathrine Ott

Kathrine Ott

Modified & Updated: 11 Oct 2023

Source: Cambodiasportsreview.com

Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium is not only an iconic landmark in the Cambodian capital but also a hub of sporting events and cultural activities. Built in 1964, this magnificent stadium has witnessed numerous historical moments and has become an integral part of Phnom Penh’s identity. While many people are familiar with the stadium’s grandeur and its role in hosting international sports events, there are some surprising facts that often go unnoticed.

In this article, we will delve into 16 surprising facts about Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium that will deepen your appreciation for its rich history and cultural significance. From its architectural marvels to its cultural influences, this stadium holds secrets that will pique your curiosity and leave you amazed. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or simply intrigued by the wonders of iconic landmarks, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the hidden tales of Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium.

Table of Contents

Historical Significance

The Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium, also known as the National Sports Complex, holds a rich historical significance for Cambodia. It was originally constructed in 1964 as a symbol of national pride and served as the main venue for the 1966 Asian Games.

Architectural Marvel

The stadium showcases a unique blend of modernist and traditional Khmer architectural elements. Its iconic circular roof design, resembling a traditional Khmer hat, sets it apart from other stadiums around the world.


With a seating capacity of approximately 50,000, the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium stands as one of the largest sporting venues in Cambodia.

Sporting Events

The stadium has hosted various international sporting events, including the Southeast Asian Games and the AFF Suzuki Cup. It is also a regular venue for football matches, athletics competitions, and cultural events.

Cultural Icon

Over the years, the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium has become a cultural landmark of the city. It is often used as a venue for concerts, festivals, and other grand celebrations.

Training Hub

Many national sports teams and athletes use the stadium as a training ground. It offers world-class facilities for sports like football, athletics, and martial arts.

Renovation and Upgrades

The stadium underwent major renovations in 2020 to enhance its facilities and bring it up to international standards. These upgrades aim to attract more sporting events and promote a healthy lifestyle among Cambodians.

Iconic Concerts

Several internationally renowned artists have performed at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium, including famous musicians and bands such as Coldplay and Beyoncé.

Historical Tragedy

During the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, the stadium was used as a detention and torture center, witnessing the suffering of countless Cambodians.

Architectural Preservation

Despite its turbulent history, the stadium stands as a testament to Cambodia’s resilience and determination to preserve its cultural heritage.

Stunning Night Illumination

At night, the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium is illuminated with vibrant lights, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that adds to its charm and beauty.


The stadium is conveniently located in the heart of Phnom Penh, making it easily accessible for locals and tourists alike.

Iconic Film Location

The stadium has served as a backdrop for various films and documentaries, showcasing its versatility and cinematic appeal.

Community Spaces

In addition to its main stadium, the complex also features spacious parks and recreational areas, offering a peaceful retreat for visitors.

Sporting Legends

Over the years, the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium has witnessed the triumphs and achievements of numerous sporting legends who have represented Cambodia on the international stage.

Symbol of National Pride

The Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium remains a symbol of national pride and unity, acting as a gathering place for Cambodians to come together and celebrate their love for sports and culture.


In conclusion, Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium holds a rich history and offers many surprising facts worth exploring. From its initial purpose as a venue for the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games to its transformation into a multifunctional sports complex, this landmark has stood as a symbol of pride for the people of Cambodia. The stadium’s unique design, its role in hosting major international sporting events, and its association with significant historical moments make it an essential site to visit in Phnom Penh. Whether you appreciate sports, architecture, or history, Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium is sure to captivate your interest and leave you with a memorable experience.


1. What is the history behind Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium?

Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium was constructed in 1963 for the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. It has since become an iconic landmark in Cambodia, hosting various sporting events and witnessing many historical moments.

2. Can visitors explore the stadium on their own?

Yes, visitors are allowed to explore the stadium independently. It’s recommended to check the stadium’s schedule in advance to ensure there are no events or renovations taking place during your visit.

3. Are there any guided tours available?

While there may not be specific guided tours for the stadium, you can hire local guides in Phnom Penh who can provide you with insightful information and history about the stadium during your visit.

4. Is the stadium still in regular use?

Yes, the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium is still actively used for various sporting events and activities. It is also a popular spot for locals to exercise and enjoy outdoor activities.

5. Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with the stadium?

Absolutely! The stadium is located in close proximity to other significant landmarks, such as the Independence Monument, the Royal Palace, and the National Museum of Cambodia. Exploring these attractions alongside the stadium can provide a well-rounded Phnom Penh experience.