The newly renovated Istana Olahraga hall in Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing)

Jokowi Inaugurates Newly Renovated Istora Sports Hall


JANUARY 24, 2018

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday (23/01) reopened newly renovated Istana Olahraga, or Istora, an indoor hall for sporting events at the Gelora Bung Karno complex in Senayan, South Jakarta.

Istora will be one of the venues for the 2018 Asian Games, which starts in August.

"I'm surprised by the changes, the revamping is significant. ... This is a total remake for the historic Istora," Jokowi said in a statement.

Jokowi inaugurates the newly renovated Istora building. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing)

The hall can also be used for exhibitions and performing arts shows.

From Jan. 23 to 28, Istora is hosting its first sporting event after the remake, the 2018 Indonesia Masters, an international badminton event with total prizes of $350,000.

According to Public Works and Housing Ministry, the hall meets the standards of the Badminton World Federation.

Restoration works were carried out between September and December, and cost Rp 132 billion ($10.5 million), according to the ministry.

After the renovation, Istora can now welcome 7,166 spectators, previously 10,000 people could enter. The decrease is caused by the single-seat system, although in several zones the hall's vintage wooden benches were kept.

"The renovation preserved [Istora's] heritage, like teakwood benches which we kept for their historical value," Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said.

Despite the new single-seat system, Istora's teakwood benches were preserved in several zones. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing)

The benches were introduced in 1962, when Indonesia hosted the fourth edition of the Asian Games.