GSP to stay in SportsHub consortium after all

An aerial view of the Singapore Sports Hub.
An aerial view of the Singapore Sports Hub. ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

After much speculation and uncertainty, Global Spectrum Pico (GSP), one of SportsHub Pte Ltd's (SHPL) four founding partners, will remain with the consortium after all.

Media reports last Thursday noted that SHPL had intended to terminate the venue operation contract (VOC) with GSP. It is believed InfraRed Capital Partners, the majority equity partner, met GSP in the US on Friday to discuss this issue.

A joint press statement issued by both parties yesterday denied that termination of the VOC was ever discussed. However, SHPL had on Thursday declined to deny or confirm if GSP was about to be terminated as venue operators when queried by The Sunday Times.

In yesterday's statement, SHPL chairman Mark Woodhams said: "We value our partnership with, and involvement of, GSP at Sports Hub. GSP and we are committed to working together going forward to build on the success of the project."

GSP is a partnership between local event management agency Pico and Global Spectrum. The latter is part of American sports and entertainment company Comcast Spectacor group.

Comcast Spectacor president and chief executive officer Dave Scott added: "We will continue to lever our global venue management expertise and event sourcing capacity for the benefit of the Sports Hub."

Speculation had been rife this week that GSP would be removed following an audit by KPMG. The audit, which looked at the last 18 months of operations, is believed to have found a lack of alignment of interest between GSP, shareholders and government stakeholders.

SHPL was also concerned that GSP may have breached limits of the VOC, which led to SHPL incurring losses.

The rumoured split cast doubt over the future of more than 100 staff, contracted to GSP, working at the Sports Hub. It also led to SPHL's partners worrying if previous arrangements, including gentleman's agreements, would be honoured.

Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping, whose association worked out a cost-sharing venture with the Sports Hub for April's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, said he will still meet SHPL this week to clarify the situation.

Mr Low said: "We need to have some assurance that the partnership we have will still continue... that this will not in any way affect the hosting of the event."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 21, 2016, with the headline 'GSP to stay in SportsHub consortium after all'. Print Edition | Subscribe