Hong Kong plans to build $4.12bn Kai Tak Sports Park

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Kai Tak Sports Park

Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) on February 20 announced its plans to build the highly anticipated Kai Tak Sports Park, The project involves a 50-thousand seater multi-purpose stadium, a public sports ground housing 5,000 spectators and another indoor sports centre.

The Hong Kong government has proposed HK$32 billion (US$4.12 billion approx) for the massive sports park development project as it expects to seek funding from the Legislative Council’s finance committee in the second quarter of this year.

The government also plans to hand over the design, construction and daily operation of the Kai Tak Sports Park to a consortium for 25 years, during which time the operator will be required to share its operating income with the government.

Officials hope to launch a tender exercise in the third quarter of the year in order to begin construction next year, with completion in 2022.

The funding will need the approval from the legislative council’s public works subcommittee and finance committee, where rounds of inquiries by lawmakers are likely.

Commissioner for Sports, Yeung Tak-keung, warned that the cost could go up by as much as five per cent if the project was delayed by a year, the South China Morning Post reported. The last thing the sports sector wants to see is further delay because of pan-democrats’ filibustering.

The SCMP report quoted Yeung saying the present plan had been the outcome of rounds of public consultation in recent years and he was hopeful that the project could attract bidders. The government projection is that the successful bidder could break even in as little as three years, with a projected annual net profit of HK$276 million.

Some 19 years after the Kai Tak airport closed, the harbourfront site on Kowloon Bay is still essentially waste ground. Plans for a sports complex at the site go back to the mid-2000s.

Under the latest plan, the sports park will comprise a 50,000-seat multi-purpose main stadium with a retractable roof, on completion of which, Yeung said, will be able to cater for international matches as big as the Asian Games. It is expected to handle 30 event days a year.

There will also be a public sports ground with seating for at least 5,000, and a large indoor sports centre with a main arena with seating for at least 10,000.

Pui Kwan-kay, a vice-president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, was quoted by SCMP saying the sports complex was long overdue. “The last thing the sports sector wants to see is further delay because of pan-democrats’ filibustering,” said Pui.

“Hong Kong deserves to have a modern sports complex that is up to international standard to allow us to host more international matches,” said Pui, “When such facilities are available, the international sports associations will come to stage matches here. We have to look ahead.”

As per the information available in public domain, joint venture of KPMG and Advisian is the operations consultant. Leigh & Orange Limited (architectural lead consultant), WSP (HK) Limited (building services and structural sub-consultants) and Urbis Limited (landscape sub-consultant) are the technical services consultant. Urban Design & Planning Consultants Limited is the planning consultant.

More details of the project are likely to be unveiled at the next Coliseum Summit ASIA in the Chinese capital Beijing in September 2017.

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