Like an inauspicious relationship doomed to an eternity of problems, the tie between SportSG and Sports Hub Pte Ltd (SPHL) known as the public-private partnership (PPP) has finally been severed, with the Sports Hub being officially transferred to SportSG on Dec 9, 2022.
The marriage between the two, made possible through the PPP, has had an extremely turbulent past involving high-profile events.
In 2014, the stellar friendly match between Brazil and Japan became the side dish to the joke that was Sports Hub’s sandy pitch.
Toward the end of that same year, Jay Chou’s indoor concert was hit by rain — which would have been alright if it wasn’t for the leaky roofing over the audience’s heads.
But it wasn’t just the audience that had gripes with the Hub – in 2015, the SPHL had disagreements with the National Day Parade Committee for that year over pricing, resulting in a whopping $39.4 million cost of staging for the parade, almost twice the cost of having it at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
The announcement of the end of this difficult relationship between SportSG and SPHL happened on June 10 during a press conference – but it wasn’t because of their troubled past, according to Lim Teck Yin, CEO of SportSG.
“The aspirations and ambitions that we have for the sporting ecosystem in Singapore are much larger,” Lim said.
He explained that SportSG needs “control”, “greater autonomy” and “flexibility” when dealing with the Hub, so that it can stand against “stronger competition and ambition in developments that are coming up in our region”.
This means that the Hub will now be under the wing of Kallang Alive which also brings greater focus to the community — meaning more local sports and lifestyle events can be had in the area.
Kallang Alive, announced by SportSG in 2019, is an 89ha mixed-use lifestyle destination.
This project will see six new developments in the area around the Hub including the Kallang Football Hub, Singapore Tennis Centre and a redevelopment of the Kallang Theatre.
SportSG chairman Koh Yin Tong said it will be easier to organise large-scale events that would require the use of all facilities in the precinct.
In a Facebook post, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said that June 10 marks a “new chapter for the Sports Hub”.
He recalled that when he was in school, it would be the highlight of the inter-school games calendar to play the Zone or National Finals at the old National Stadium, with the rest of the school cheering the team on from the stands.
“We should bring this back, so that young budding school sports talent can aspire to play in our National Stadium,” he wrote.
“From world-class events to sport enthusiasts engaging in an active lifestyle, to everyday Singaporeans participating in community fringe events, we must turn the Sports Hub into a sporting home for all to enjoy.”
Here are five examples of what you can expect to see at SportSG’s Sports Hub:
1. The National School Games
This could make a reappearance in the future as part of the many events at SportSG’s Hub, allowing more talents to grow in Singapore.
2. Sports Hub Open Houses
Something of note for the community around the Kallang Alive precinct and beyond, this will allow Singaporeans to participate in group activities that might interest them.
3. More high-key events
Lim confirmed during the press conference that they were in talks with global sports federations such as the Badminton World Federation to discuss the events that could happen in Singapore.
4. Continued support for concerts
The Sports Hub would still be a space for concerts, as well as many other events that may be brought to the Hub.
5. More community activities to be held here
Lim said that SportSG noticed an increase in willingness for communities to come together and participate in events with large gatherings, paving the way for Sports Hub to be a catalyst for such events.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
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