LA Galaxy vs Azkals: PFF to pay P1-M for stadium use
MANILA, Philippines—Having spent a significant amount renovating and maintaining the Rizal Memorial Stadium and its field, the Philippine Football Federation has also agreed to pay P1 million for the use of the historic facility for one of the biggest football events taking place in the country in years.
The David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy face the Philippine Azkals on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Major League Soccer champions will fly in Thursday from Indonesia for a three-day visit.
The Galaxy will also hold a training session and a clinic for children Friday at Rizal Memorial with promoters charging an entry fee for both events. The Philippine Sports Commission, which owns the sprawling facility, had asked for a rental fee for the Galaxy-related events, saying it is a “commercial venture.”
“They said it’s a commercial venture so there must be some sort of compensation,” said PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta. “But they told us that the money will be earmarked for football development projects which means it will go to grassroots development.”
Araneta said the PFF spent P10.4 million for the renovation of the stadium, including the installation of numbered seats before the Azkals saw action in the World Cup Qualifiers early this year. The PFF was able to use the facility for free during the WCQ.
The PFF president also said they have been spending P70,000 a month since September for the maintenance of the pitch.
“We didn’t want what was invested at Rizal Memorial to go to waste,” said Araneta.
Tickets for the match—ranging from P2,000 to P15,000—at the 12,800-seater RMS are still on sale with Smart Communications and the United Football League helping reduce ticket prices by 35 percent.
Ticket buyers can use the promo code of 6987 provided by both UFL and Smart in purchasing tickets at Ticketworld.
“Whatever happens, whether we win or lose, it will benefit Philippine football and the image of our country by bringing in a high-profile team like the LA Galaxy and a player like Beckham,” said Araneta. “Whatever we can contribute to that effect, we will be happy.”