About Sports in Bangkok
Modern Bangkok has developed a strong spectator sport culture. While muay Thai kickboxing matches at Rajadamnern and Lumpini Stadiums are regularly broadcast on television, the sport has mostly been overtaken in popularity by association football. Several foreign leagues and competitions, especially England's Premier League, have large followings in Bangkok as well as other Thai urban centres. In recent years, the Thai Premier League has been gaining popularity.
BEC–Tero Sasana based in Bangkok and Muangthong United based in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region are leading clubs.
While sepak takraw can be seen played in open spaces throughout the city, especially by the working class, football and other modern sports are now more of the norm. Western sports were introduced during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, and were originally only available to the privileged. Such status is still associated with certain sports.
Golf is popular among the upwardly mobile, and while Thailand's more famous clubs are in the countryside, there are several courses in Bangkok itself. Horse riding takes place in a couple of exclusive clubs in the city. Horse racing is very popular in Bangkok and betting on horses is legal. There are two racecourses in Bangkok: "Royal Bangkok Sports Club" and "Royal Turf Club of Thailand".
There are many public sporting facilities located throughout Bangkok. The two main centres are the National Stadium complex, which dates to 1938, and the newer Hua Mak Sports Complex, which was built for the 1998 Asian Games.
Bangkok had also hosted the games in 1966, 1970 and 1978. The city was the host of the first SEA Games in 1959 and the Summer Universiade in 2007. Thailand is the host of the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup and Bangkok is one of the host cities along with Nakhon Ratchasima.