Marina Bay floating platform may get longer lease of life

It was meant to be a temporary measure, but the Marina Bay floating platform will be staying put for at least a while longer.

The 120m by 83m structure was designed as a stop-gap until the Sports Hub could be built.

But the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) - which owns and manages the platform - told The Straits Times that it is "considering retaining the facility for recreation, sports and community use", even after the hub is completed next year.

The floating platform - touted as the world's largest - was built in 2007 as an interim venue for mass spectator events in place of the National Stadium, which was demolished so that the 50,000- seater Sports Hub in Kallang could be built.

The facility, and its 27,000- seater grandstand, was slated to host only five National Day Parades (NDPs), according to previous reports. But six parades later, it is still in use.

It is unclear whether this year's NDP will be the last to be held at the site.

The platform has hosted dozens of events and has become a landmark on the waterfront.

Event organisers said keeping the platform is a good idea.

"It has a wonderful location with the Marina Bay skyline as a backdrop - one that no other venue can boast of," said Ms Beatrice Chia-Richmond, who works for the promoter that staged last year's mega K-pop concert, SMTown Live World Tour III, there.

But holding events at the platform has its downsides.

Ms Chia-Richmond said anyone wanting a licence has to get approval from surrounding stakeholders, such as hotels and malls.

The platform's grandstand is part of the Marina Bay Street Circuit Turns 17 and 18 at the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in September - seemingly sealing its fate for now.

derrickh@sph.com.sg