Govt takeover of Sports Hub was ‘smooth’, termination sum payable reduced by $100 million: Edwin Tong

National agency Sport Singapore officially took over the Sports Hub on Dec 9. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Sports Hub has had a smooth transition after the Government took over its management from the Sports Hub Pte Ltd (SHPL) consortium, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong in a written parliamentary reply on Monday.

The termination sum payable to SHPL was reduced by $100 million from the initial projection of $1.5 billion, added Mr Tong, who said the reduction was “mainly because we were able to bring down the cost of termination, excluding debt repayment and related costs, in the negotiations”.

The Government has sought the President’s concurrence to make an advance from the Contingencies Fund. A supplementary supply bill will be introduced in Parliament at Budget 2023 to replace the advance. The replacement of the fund will not lead to a draw on past reserves, he added.

Mr Tong was responding to MP for Potong Pasir Sitoh Yih Pin’s parliamentary question on updates and plans for the Sports Hub.

National agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) officially took over the 35ha facility on Dec 9, ending its partnership with SHPL, the private consortium that had been running the $1.33-billion facility since it opened in 2014.

The partnership was fraught with tension, with SHPL grappling with initial issues with its pitch and criticism of what was deemed a thin programming calendar despite it hosting several marquee events.

The management of the Hub is now handled by a new entity, Kallang Alive Sport Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kallang Alive Holding Co., which is incorporated by SportSG to oversee the entire Kallang Alive precinct.

The Kallang Alive project, announced in 2019, will see six new developments in the area around the Hub. These include the Kallang Football Hub, Singapore Tennis Centre and a redevelopment of the Kallang Theatre.

Noting that the new management team has organised several events since the takeover, Mr Tong said that the public can look forward to more community events, with some National School Games finals and badminton’s National Open Championships taking place there.

Mr Tong added: “The developments in the larger Kallang Alive precinct are also on track, with the Kallang Football Hub and Kallang Tennis Centre due to be completed this year.

“With these exciting programmes and developments, our Sports Hub will be a vibrant community, sporting and lifestyle space that all Singaporeans can enjoy and identify with.”

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