Celebrating its recent official opening, the SGD$1.3bn Singapore Sports Hub is aiming for recognition as one of the world’s top sporting venues.
Located at a 35-hectare site in Kallang, the Singapore Sports Hub was officially opened by the country’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, on July 26, during ‘Youth Celebrate!‘; an event coorganised by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to showcase Singapore’s youth and their achievements in sports, arts and the uniformed groups.
Speaking to Singapore news outlet TODAY, Singapore Sports Hub Chief Executive, Philippe Collin-Delavaud (who was one of the 40+ industry-elite speakers at our inaugural Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2014 event), stated:
It is our ambition to put Singapore on the world map. It must be a venue which brings enormous national pride to Singaporeans, and a venue which many from around the world will be in awe of.
The Singapore Sports Hub is the first arena in the world to combine world-class facilities for football, rugby, athletics and cricket, while seamlessly integrating community lifestyle, sports and entertainment.
Since its soft launch in June last year, the Singapore Sports Hub, which includes the 55,000-capacity National Stadium, OCBC Aquatics Centre, OCBC Arena, Indoor Stadium (the venue for our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 conference and exhibition) and water sports centre, has since hosted more than 100 events, with over 1.1 million attendees across all its venues.
It has also hosted a number of sports and entertainment events, such as the Brazil v Japan football friendly, WTA Finals Singapore*, and last month’s Barclays Asia Trophy, which saw English Premier League clubs Arsenal, Everton and Stoke City competing at the National Stadium. *Melissa Pine, Tournament Director, WTA Finals Singapore, is one of the top speakers confirmed for this year’s event.
Collin-Delavaud said that due to the scale and ambition of the Sports Hub project — the largest public-private partnership project in the world — meant that it was inevitable that it would experience teething issues.
The initial Desso GrassMaster pitch at the National Stadium drew criticism from international football teams and fans alike for its sandy conditions, with the issue resolved after the decision to switch to a lay-and-play solution, installed by HG Sports Turf, who will be showcasing their latest products at Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015.
We have inevitably encountered challenges and teething issues on opening, but we have met these head on and worked tirelessly to deliver a world-class product for Singapore.
Despite the challenges, the Sports Hub held up well during its biggest test, as it hosted 10 sports events during the South East Asian (SEA) Games that took place from June 5 to 16, 2015.
Collin-Delavaud said that the “completion and readiness” of the venue in time meant that Singaporeans were able to enjoy their favourite sports and cheer their sportsmen in a world-class environment.
Thanks to the vision of the Singapore Government, the Singapore Sports Hub was a fulcrum and key centrepiece in Singapore’s delivery of the SEA Games. Without the Singapore Sports Hub, the SEA Games in Singapore would have been a very different proposition.
The Singapore Sports Hub eco-system rose well to the challenge of hosting the complex series of sporting events, which had very high technical specifications and requirements.
Since his interview with TODAY, it has been announced that Collin-Delavaud, who has been Chief Executive of the venue since March 2011, overseeing the construction of the facility, is to be replaced by Singapore national, Manu Sawhney (pictured below).
Sawhney will join the Singapore Sports Hub from September as Chief Executive-designate, with Collin-Delavaud to stay at the Sports Hub until the end of December to ensure a smooth transition.
Sawhney was part of the steering committee of the 2015 SEA Games, and also currently serves as a Director of football club Manchester United. He last held the position of Managing Ddirector of ESPN Star Sports.
In a statement, Sawhney explained:
I am honoured to be given the opportunity to steer Sports Hub’s operations and look forward to building on the strong foundations already in place.
Main image: The official opening of the Singapore Sports Hub.