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Singapore SportsHub
  • March 29th, 2007

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View the news report here

By now, most of you would have heard of the news of the first bidder by Singapore Gold Consortium for our new Sports Hub at Kallang which will replace the National Stadium. The other two bidders Singapore Sports Hub and Alpine have yet to sumbit their design.

On first impression, the beautiful horse shoe-shaped iconic design and the first class facilities to be built is on par with some of the world’s sports infrastructure but when I heard that the Sports Hub will still hold National Day Parade there, I was totally disappointed.

How many of you have actually run on the old Kallang stadium track. If you do, you might have known, that the running tracks there is ‘horrible’. Parts of it sunken, soggy and full of repair patches. It’s all due to the constant heavy usage other than running, such as moving floats or vehicles and thousands of performers making their mark as part of the annual National Day parade and months of practice session.

A recent conversation with a fellow athlete who share my exact sentiments, he mentioned, “What’s the use of building first class running track and facilities, when it’s going to be trampled over by tanks. Also with such world class infrastructure, I’ll bet the new Sports Hub will be out of bound for many people

Speaking of which, since the National Stadium is planned to be demolish, SAA has setup their new Centre of Excellence at Bukit Gombak. But the sad fact is, some of our local athletes I’ve asked, don’t even know we’ve a SAA Centre of Excellence there. In my opinion it’s a ‘white elephant’ itself, I seldom see our athletes coming down and use the facilities there. Don’t even get me started on that, I’ll publish an article on that soon enough however.

If we, Singapore wish to attract world class athletics events to our soil, we must have first rate facilities, and not something that looks like a ‘practice track’ ala Bukit Gombak nor the embarassing ‘repair patches’ found on the track.

Here’s the extract of the full article from ChannelNewsAsia below

Consortium reveals horse shoe-shaped iconic design for Sports Hub
By Patwant Singh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 29 March 2007 1836 hrs

SINGAPORE : A horse shoe-shaped gold-coloured stadium that fronts the water, with the Singapore city as a backdrop – that is Singapore Gold Consortium’s proposal for the Sports Hub.

It is the first among the three bidders to reveal its design to the media.

The designers have described it as the world’s first waterfront stadium with a retractable roof.

The horse shoe design provides a view of the Kallang Basin and the city, while allowing the natural breeze to cool the stadium.

The complex also has another distinguishing feature that embraces the water theme.

“We have created what we call a Sports Quay, with the Kallang Basin at the heart and all the facilities built and designed around water. This is a public space so what we have done is create a new public destination place for Singapore,” says Paul Henry, senior principal of HOK Sport Architecture, Singapore Gold Consortium.

The quay also means the project is environmentally friendly, as it helps with the cooling of the entire complex.

During special occasions like the National Day parade, the seating capacity can be increased from 55,000 to 80,000.

“During the National Day Parade for instance, we can open up the stadium to the whole of the basin area so the horse shoe-shape area embraces the city. That makes for a fabulous National Day Parade,” says Henry.

And another world first – the field can be removed and water be filled into the stadium for water sports.

The complex includes an Aquatic Centre, a multi-purpose hall and an interactive sports museum.

There will be retail outlets and even a 200-room hotel which can house officials and members of sports associations.

The design has also created lots of spaces for the public, including a 1-km long waterfront promenade.

The consortium believes that the appeal of the project will extend beyond sports fans.

“The site is busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There won’t only be the high profile events but there will also be other events going on that will attract the community. So besides your Robbie William and Kylie Minogue concerts, there will also be things for everyday people like you and I,” says Neil Arora, executive director of Macquarie, Singapore Gold Consortium.

No details were given, but according to some estimates, the stadium will cost $600 million.

IMG will help bring in the marque sports events.

And even before the complex is up, there will be something for Singaporeans.

“The Singapore Indoor stadium will remain operational during the construction process so just to show what Singapore Gold can bring to Singapore, we do have a commitment in place from Maria Sharapova to come to Singapore and play a special exhibition match here,” says Mark Adams, MD of IMG, Singapore Gold Consortium.

Alpine, the other bidder, says it will release its design next week, while the third bidder Singapore Sports Hub says it has no plans yet.

The announcement for the winning bid is due by July this year. The Sports Hub is expected to be completed by 2011. – CNA /ls

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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