Jakarta BMW stadium gets a head start amid land wrangle


Indonesia Jakarta International Stadium Image: skyscrapercity.com

The Jakarta administration has gone ahead with the construction of the Jakarta International Stadium at Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, in Indonesia. The whole development is, however, mired in land disputes.

The decision to build the stadium has been taken following the completion of a bid that saw three construction companies assigned to build the city’s flagship mega project.

The construction work has been accelerated to enable the stadium to enter the list of 10 facilities proposed by PSSI (the Football Association of Indonesia, commonly called PSSI) to hold the 2021 U-20 World Cup.

Jakarta International Stadium Project Manager Arry Wibowo informed that before the stadium is declared eligible to be used for the World Cup fixtures, the team from FIFA would come in advance to conduct an “assessment”.

The Rp 4 trillion (US$281 million) project will be run by city-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro). The property and infrastructure company has announced State-owned contractor PT Wijaya Karya (Wika), property developer PT PP Properti and construction firm PT Jaya Konstruksi the winners of the tender who will work on the project to bring to fruition the Jakarta International Stadium also known as the BMW Stadium.

Jakpro’s Project Director for the Jakarta International Stadium, Iwan Takwin, informed that the company was simply following the directive of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan as regards carrying on the project amid the legal challenges.

Jakpro’s construction work on the arena is underway. Wibowo also stated, “We are working on the lower structure as well as the upper structure.” The enclosure will be able to fit in 82,000 spectators.

Indonesia still does not boast a stadium with a capacity of over 80,000. So far, only the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (SUGBK) in Indonesia enjoys the position of holding 76,127 spectators.

The BMW Stadium will be erected responding to FIFA standards and will take out leaves from the book of the English League venues.

The facility is scheduled to be completed between August and October 2021. Apart from football matches, the multipurpose stadium will also hold concerts. Baswedan has said that once the venue is complete, the name of the avant-garde stadium will change through a business agreement.

The stadium will be built at par with Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium owned by Spanish club, Real Madrid.

The arena will be equipped with three levels of stands, a special room devoted to VIPs, a state-of-the-art room for players, 200 special seats for mobility challenged fans, training field, hybrid turf-type grass, a huge parking space that can allow 800 cars and 100 buses to be parked, and retractable stadium roofs. The stadium will strictly adhere to environmental norms vis-a-vis a green building and plans are in the offing to independently manage water and electricity at a later stage. Plans have also been chalked out to integrate the arena with public transportation modes such as Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Trans Jakarta and Commuter Line Electric Train (KRL) and, of course, toll access.

The stadium vicinity will be used as a public space and a plaza will be provided for offering prayer. To the east of the stadium, a commercial space will come up and urban farming will also be encouraged in and around the facility with the objective of providing economic empowerment to the community living in the area where the stadium will sit.

The stadium is expected to provide a shot in the arm to the economic health of Jakarta, especially North Jakarta where it will be located. Besides, a floating mosque will be built and a jogging track will also come up around Lake Sunter. Water tourism will also be on offer.


The decision to construct a facility in the BMW Park is not a new one and dates back to the time when Fauzi Bowo was the Governor of Jakarta from 2007 to 2012.

Media reports stated that the BMW Park is spread over 66.6 hectares of land. Out of 66.6 hectares, 26.5 hectares of land has been occupied. The Park is the property of DKI Jakarta Provincial Government. The illegal structures standing on the Park was evicted during Governor Bowo’s time.

It was way back in 2008 that the DKI Provincial Government decided to change the BMW Park into an international sports stadium. The added attractions will be sand volleyball court, as well as two open fields for the common people. To promote water skiing, the lake in BMW Park will be improvised. Some parts of the BMW Park have also been designed as city parks.

The Park will also boast running, biking and water tourism trails. In addition, green open spaces and water catchments will be available to help mitigate flooding.

Land Dispute

The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government’s plan to build an international standard venue in BMW Park was hit by the land ownership speed breaker.

A resident named Donald Guilaime Wolfe claimed that he was owner of part of the BMW Park land. He alleged that a part of the land belonged to his parents which was seized without offering any compensation and went on to become the BMW Park. He asked for compensation to which the Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta during that time (sometime in 2010) Prijanto stated that the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta will make it an international sports stadium because it had been “programmed in the APBD”.

Prijanto had also asserted, “All land claims are settled through legal channels. If they have legal proof of land ownership, please prove it in court. If they lose, they must obey the law.”

A number of parties also claimed to have proof of land ownership and filed a land dispute suit.

It was only due to the initiative taken by the current President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, that the BMW Stadium construction work has finally got off to a start.

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