The Singapore Sports Hub will face its biggest test in less than two months when the S$1.33 billion facility hosts 10 of the 36 sports to be competed at the 28th SEA Games from June 5 to 16.
While the Sports Hub has experienced some glitches since it opened last June, its chief operating officer Oon Jin Teik is “confident, but not complacent” that the 35ha venue will hold up well during the Games.
The National Stadium had experienced issues with its grass pitch, as well as a roof leak during Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s concert last December, but Oon is hopeful of restoring the public’s confidence in the Sports Hub when the Games roll into town.
“We want to redeem (ourselves) on every occasion and not just the SEA Games,” he said at a media briefing at the Sports Hub yesterday.
“We want it to continue to be functioning at every event, that’s always the objective. There’s a lot of work (to be done). We are confident but not complacent. “The bigger issues that are publicly known, we are fixing them and we see the improvement there and we’re also fixing the other smaller issues.”
The lay-and-play natural grass turf will be placed in the 55,000-seater National Stadium after the opening ceremony on June 5, and in time for the athletics competition two days later as well as for the football semi-finals and final on June 13 and 15,
“The preparation for this (lay-and-play) has already started. Progress is good and we will monitor it on a daily basis,” said Oon. “Yes (it’s a short turnaround), but it is within the scope of what we have planned for and what our partners and suppliers can do.”
Four venues within the Sports Hub — the National Stadium, OCBC Arena, Singapore Indoor Stadium, OCBC Aquatic Centre — will host aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, billiards and snooker, fencing, football, netball, table tennis and volleyball during the SEA Games.
The organisers aim to attract 800,000 to one million visitors for the 10 sports at the Kallang cluster, while the remaining clusters at Marina Bay and the Singapore Expo will stage the rest.
The Games’ biggest venue host plans to pull out all the stops to draw spectators and fans to the Sports Hub during the multi-sports event, with a slew of activities and programmes planned throughout this month and the next to promote awareness among the public and drive support for the national athletes.
Dubbed the Pre-SEA Games Roar, activities include venue tours, meet-and-greet sessions with Team Singapore athletes, a Games-inspired fashion show, and Experience Sports Super 10s, a fun challenge to give the public a chance to play and compete in the 10 sports featured at the SEA Games. Entry to events such as the Cuesports Festival (April 18 to 19) and the 11th men’s SEABA Basketball Championship (April 27 to May 1) will also be free of charge.
The Sports Hub is promoting the SEA Games in tandem with the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee, and Oon explained that, as the biggest venue cluster for the region’s biggest multi-sport meet, the Sports Hub is obligated to hype excitement levels.
“Through this initiative called the Pre-SEA Games Roar, we want to help Singaporeans discover, support and play,” Oon said. “Help them experience, understand and meet the athletes, form a relationship between the venue, sport and athletes.”
Visit www.sportshub.com.sg for more information on the Pre-SEA Games Roar activities.