Parliament: Sports Hub can do more to enhance vibrancy - MCCY

The Sports Hub has come under scrutiny following complaints about its high rental costs and thin slate of top-level events.
The Sports Hub has come under scrutiny following complaints about its high rental costs and thin slate of top-level events.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The operators of the Singapore Sports Hub have been urged to do more to ensure the billion-dollar facility is buzzing with activity.

Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng noted that the $1.33-billion Kallang venue has hosted major events such as the 2015 SEA Games, National Day Parade and concerts featuring A-listers like Madonna and A-mei.

"Nonetheless," he said, "more can and should be done by Sports Hub Private Limited (SHPL) to enhance the vibrancy of the Sports Hub and improve the quality of its calendar of events and programming.

"These should include major international events, as well as those the community can participate in."

The call comes two days after the Sports Hub, which has come under scrutiny following complaints about its high rental costs and thin slate of top-level events, released data showing encouraging participation figures for its community programmes.

Mr Baey also addressed the issue of the venue's hiring costs, saying: "SHPL has indicated that it will seek to keep third-party costs for events at the Sports Hub in check.

"We have communicated to SHPL that they should have transparent and defensible pricing policies that make (the Sports Hub) attractive as a venue to event organisers."

Responding to Mr Baey's remarks, Mr Chin Sau Ho, the Sports Hub's senior director for corporate communications and stakeholder management, said: "We thank Parliamentary Secretary (MCCY) Baey Yam Keng for his comments and feedback relayed in Parliament on 9 March.

"The Singapore Sports Hub is committed to continue building a vibrant and quality event and activity calendar.

"We will also continue to strive for operational excellence and evaluate ways in which we may provide the best value to our clients, partners and customers, and aim to contribute to Singapore's reputation as the destination city for sports and lifestyle."

Mr Chin revealed that last year, 685 events held there attracted close to 92,000 participants, translating to an average monthly attendance of 5,000 community sporting enthusiasts. It is a sharp increase from 2015, when just 38,000 participants joined the community events and activities.

"We're excited that 2017 has started on a strong note with events happening almost every weekend across the Sports Hub since February," he added.

"Just this year, we have hosted the Great Eastern Community Shield football game, HolyCrit X cycling event and the first of three Super Rugby games in the National Stadium alongside others across the campus.

"This Saturday, 11 March, we look forward to welcoming the public to our latest edition of Community Play Day at the Water Sports Centre and other facilities, as well as to the OCBC Aquatic Centre for the 48th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships 2017.

"Looking ahead, we have more Super Rugby games, and the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens at the National Stadium; Asean Basketball League games and World Boxing Championships at the OCBC Arena; OUE Singapore Open, the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice show, EXO Planet and Sting's 57th and 9th Tour concerts at the Indoor Stadium, among others.

"In a few short weeks, we host Coldplay at the National Stadium in back-to-back sold-out shows on 31 March and 1 April.

"We also look forward to announcing more quality events to be held at the Sports Hub in the near future."