Singapore Sports Hub fined over unmet standards

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng noted in Parliament yesterday that the Sports Hub hosted 212 events last year, but he was circumspect in his assessment of its performance.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng noted in Parliament yesterday that the Sports Hub hosted 212 events last year, but he was circumspect in his assessment of its performance.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Govt monitoring performance of consortium that runs $1.33b facility

The Singapore Sports Hub has been fined over unmet standards, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng in Parliament yesterday.

SportsHub Private Limited (SHPL) is the consortium which runs the $1.33 billion facility. It comprises four equity partners: InfraRed Capital Partners, Dragages Singapore, Cushman & Wakefield Facilities & Engineering, and Global Spectrum Asia.

While Mr Baey noted the Sports Hub hosted 212 events last year, he was circumspect in his assessment of its performance during the debate on his ministry's budget.

Noting the recent acquisition of global infrastructure and real estate investment manager InfraRed Capital Partners by Canadian insurance group Sun Life, Mr Baey said the Government has recently sought clarification from SHPL and "obtained their assurance that this will not have any direct impact on the Sports Hub operations".

Mr Baey noted: "SHPL is required to meet a minimum number of sporting event days at the National Stadium and Singapore Indoor Stadium each year. Where they have not met the standards, they have been held accountable and financial penalties have been imposed."

Under the public-private partnership, the Singapore Government makes annual payments of $193.7 million to SHPL over a period of 25 years, starting from 2010, to run the Sports Hub.

Responding to Ms Lee Bee Wah's (Nee Soon GRC) supplementary question, Mr Baey said: "They (SHPL) have been taken to task over areas they have not met the KPIs (key performance indicators). We are in continuous discussions with them, monitoring their performance and having their assurance they're committed to building Sports Hub as what we envisaged.

"I'd like to see that Sports Hub will have value for money for Singapore. It is our national sports icon."

In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Sports Hub spokesman said: "In many contractual agreements, it is common to use metrics to track the level of service provided.

"We will continue to work closely with partners and government stakeholders to curate the best programmes and initiatives for the community, in support of Singapore's sporting landscape."

Mr Baey also revealed that the local sports industry contributed $1.7 billion to Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, though this excluded areas in sports broadcast, infrastructure projects, sports events and conferences, and e-sports.

The figure is the first public update on the segment in more than a decade.

The Economic Development Board previously estimated the total was $696 million in 2004.

In 2008, then Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan had set a target for the growing sports industry - a $2 billion annual contribution to the country's GDP and the creation of 20,000 jobs by 2015.

In remarks made a year later, Dr Balakrishnan said the total had crossed the $1 billion mark in 2007.

The Republic has staged several marquee events in the past decade, including the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.

The first 11 Singapore F1 races (2008-2018) brought in over $1.4 billion in tourism receipts and more than 490,000 unique international visitors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore Sports Hub fined over unmet standards'. Print Edition | Subscribe