The National Stadium will turn into party central for next year's National Day Parade, after organisers and the Singapore Sports Hub reached an agreement on rental costs.
Both sides had been locked in protracted talks before announcing in separate statements yesterday that NDP 2016 will be the first to be held at the domed-roof venue in Kallang, 10 years after the last parade was staged in the old National Stadium before it was torn down.
NDP organisers had an agreement with the Sports Hub that they could use it for free for 45 days, but technicians and performers from previous parades said this was not long enough to prepare for the event. The Straits Times understands that Sports Hub management had asked for $26 million for an extra 35 days for rehearsals. While sources have said the figure has been lowered to $10 million, the final sum agreed is not known.
Since 2007, the Aug 9 bash has been held seven times at The Float@ Marina Bay, and twice at the Padang.
Noting that the 55,000-seater stadium has 30,000 more seats than the floating platform, NDP executive committee chairman Kenneth Liow said in a post on the NDPeeps Facebook page that more Singaporeans can be part of the celebrations at the Sports Hub.
Brigadier-General Liow said preparations to make the next NDP a memorable one are going well, adding that the stadium "is on its way to becoming an icon".
Sports Hub chief executive officer Manu Sawhney called it a place "where dreams come true".
He said in a post on the Sports Hub Facebook page that staging the NDP in the new venue will provide memories "that will be etched in the minds for communities and different generations of families".