Sports Hub draws 3.5m to sports, community events

The crowd at the inaugural National Play Day held at the Singapore Sports Hub on Dec 19, 2015.
The crowd at the inaugural National Play Day held at the Singapore Sports Hub on Dec 19, 2015.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The Singapore Sports Hub announced yesterday that the facility welcomed over 3.5 million visitors last year.

There were about 1.4 million attendees for the 124 sports and entertainment events it hosted including marquee elements such as football's Barclays Asia Trophy, the 28th SEA Games and the 8th Asean Para Games. Not only did the likes of English Premier League giants Arsenal and Everton perform there, but so too did One Direction, Taylor Swift and Jay Chou.

But sports and music stars were not the only ones to enjoy the $1.33 billion facility. So too did over two million members of the community, who took part in numerous organised activities, from the Learn to Play programmes to FIT Sessions, Youth Celebrate and even various carnivals held during SG50 Golden Jubilee Weekend.

And not all were armchair sports fans, as witnessed by the over 29,000 hours of court bookings for sports such as badminton, netball and volleyball.

Sport Singapore's chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said of the figures: "This is encouraging and bodes well for future developments."

The Sports Hub's chief executive officer Manu Sawhney said: "2015 was a truly busy and iconic year for the Sports Hub. In addition to hosting world-class teams and athletes ... the 28th South-east Asian Games and the 8th Asean Para Games allowed us to witness the extraordinary achievements of Team Singapore and our very own sporting heroes ... who broke records, won gold and achieved their dreams.

"We shall not rest on our laurels. Sports Hub is committed to working harder to improve and set new benchmarks for success in 2016."

Those benchmarks remain unspecified. When asked, a public relations spokesman said that though last year's figures show "good promise", there is no forecast for 2016.

It remains to be seen if this year's figures can top - or even equal - last year's. The slate for 2016 looks to be far quieter with only three big-name draws confirmed by the middle of December - a concert by Taiwanese singer A-Mei, three Super Rugby games featuring new Japanese franchise Sunwolves, and the World Rugby Sevens Series in April.

High rental costs, particularly for the National Stadium, have been cited as a potential deterrent.

Nicholas Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2016, with the headline 'Sports Hub draws 3.5m to sports, community events'. Print Edition | Subscribe