Kai Tak Sports Park groundbreaking ceremony marks new milestone
The groundbreaking ceremony for Kai Tak Sports Park took place last week, April 23, marking the start of the construction of Hong Kong’s new state-of-the-art multipurpose sports complex that will accelerate the advancement of sport in the SAR.
Kai Tak Sports Park is poised to become Hong Kong’s biggest sports venue with world-class sports facilities and leisure spaces that are accessible to the whole population and international visitors.
Purpose-built to host an extensive portfolio of international, regional, and local events, as well as a full range of community sports and activities, Kai Tak Sports Park will support the Government’s aims to promote sports in the community, champion elite sports, and enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as a centre for major international sports events.
Construction is scheduled for completion in 2023.
Officiating the groundbreaking ceremony, HKSAR Chief Executive the Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam reiterated that Kai Tak Sports Park is the Government’s most important investment in sports infrastructure in recent decades. After many years of careful planning, the project has now been given the green light to commence construction.
Mrs Lam said that Kai Tak Sports Park will attract a bigger roster of regional and international sports events to the city which is in line with the city’s drive to promote sports for all; and that the Government will continue to develop programmes as well as allocate resources that will strengthen the sporting ecosystem in Hong Kong.
Chairman of Kai Tak Sports Park Limited, Dr. Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, said:
Kai Tak Sports Park delivers the infrastructure to support the Government’s long-term strategy for sports development in Hong Kong. We have brought together the world’s best designers, builders and operators for the Kai Tak Sports Park project. It will set a world benchmark for sports and entertainment precincts, and serve as a vibrant destination for local, regional as well as international sports events.
I am excited to witness the groundbreaking of Kai Tak Sports Park and look forward to creating the stage for international sports events where local elite athletes can excel, and where the community can come together for sports activities and recreation.
Project Director of Kai Tak Sports Park Limited, John Sharkey, said:
The project development team comprises renowned local and overseas experts who have a wealth of experience in design, construction, venue management, sales and marketing, as well as retail development and operations. They are skilled in planning international projects as well as designing and running major international sports venues.
In the next four and a half years, the team will focus on the Sports Park’s design development, construction and pre-opening. And then, as the construction work approaches completion, we will switch our focus to precinct operations and presenting KTSP’s exciting content that will include both major international sports events as well as a full complement of community sports activities.
Setting the benchmark
World leaders in sports and entertainment design, Populous have created a masterplan for Kai Tak Sports Park that will see the 28-hectare site being developed into an urban oasis, which integrates high-quality sports venues with retail, wellness, recreational and community spaces.
Nestled in a parkland setting with Hong Kong’s iconic Lion Rock as a backdrop, the precinct revolves around the bold and unique Kai Tak Sports Avenue. This indoor and outdoor pedestrian walk starts at Station Square and takes patrons all the way through the immense site; connecting key facilities with the Dining Cove which overlooks Victoria Harbour – one of the most recognisable views in the world.
The Sports Park will be easily accessible from the adjacent Station Square and two public transport interchanges. It will be a 10-minute walk from the newly planned Kai Tak and Song Wong Toi MTR stations and within walking distance of the Kowloon City Ferry Pier. Pedestrian walkways will connect the Sports Park to new developments in To Kwa Wan, Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon City and Kai Tak districts.
A majestic “Pearl of the Orient” Main Stadium
Taking centrestage in Kai Tak Sports Park will be the Main Stadium, with a “Pearl of the Orient” façade design theme, which will accommodate 50,000 spectators. With a retractable roof, the Main Stadium will be purpose-built to host a myriad of sports events in any weather and can also be used for other activities such as concerts, exhibitions and carnivals.
The new South Stand will honour the great Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tradition, with a vast activity platform set against a panoramic glass wall that provides exceptional views of the scenic harbourfront.
The Main Stadium’s pitch can be flexibly switched between quality natural turf for premier football or rugby events, to other surface materials for specific sports events or cultural and entertainment activities. Boasting flexible staging and seating configuration options, the Main Stadium will also be an ideal venue for a range of entertainment events and activities that cater to different crowd sizes.
Multi-purpose Indoor Sports Centre
The Indoor Sports Centre comprises a main arena with 10,000 seats, where 80% of the seats are retractable or removable; and a 500-seat ancillary sports hall. The use of different arena overlay floor surfaces allows organisers to configure the venue for different sports activities, from daily community hiring to elite sports training and competitions. Together, the main arena and ancillary sports hall can provide the equivalent space of 12 standard basketball courts when all spectator seats are removed.
Public Sports Ground
The Sports Park also offers a 5,000-seat Public Sports Ground that is suitable for hosting school sports days, athletics training, as well as local football and rugby games. Boasting a world-class multi-lane athletic track of IAAF standard, it will be the ideal venue for hosting large-scale inter-school athletic events.
With the exception of major events, the Public Sports Ground will be open daily to the public for jogging and quali-walk free of charge.
Multi-functional community open spaces
More than eight hectares of open space has been set aside in the Sports Park for a range of community purposes to meet the diverse needs of the public.
The Main Plaza in the centre of the Sports Park can be used to hold community recreational activities or help manage visitor flows during major events. Located east of the Main Stadium, the Event Village offers a mix of lawn and concrete floor surfaces suitable for different sports activities or extension programmes for major events.
Located in the southern part of the precinct, the South Plaza offers an open-air multi-purpose space for a wide range of activities. Public fitness stations, children’s wet and dry play areas, sculpture trails, and Tai Chi Zones are also available.
The Neighbourhood Park at the northeastern corner of the precinct will be equipped with courts for ball games as well as a cycling track, a jogging trail, a children’s playground and a lawn for recreation. The Dining Cove which overlooks the Victoria Harbour will offer a diverse range of food and beverage options.
In addition to restaurants, retail shops as well as a health and wellness centre, there will be an international-standard bowling centre with 40 lanes suitable for international tournaments.
A range of environmentally conscious features and smart city initiatives have been included in the Sports Park’s design, such as the integration of photovoltaic panels on all major facilities, extensive green roofscapes, and an expansive network of electric vehicle charging stations across the precinct.
The Kai Tak Sports Park utilises the latest in design thinking and technology to deliver a stadium that will meet the needs of all who will visit it. The outcome will be a precinct that will set a new standard in sports and entertainment venues, creating a global benchmark for the future of venue design.
In other news, Darren Burden has been appointed as SMG’s Project Executive Director for the Kai Tak Sports Park development.
SMG, part of the Kai Tak Sports Park Limited (KTSPL) consortium that is building Hong Kong’s largest ever sports infrastructure project, is one of the world’s largest venue managers and is set to merge with AEG Facilities as a new global entity, ASM Global.
Burden will head the venue management and operations as part of the design, build, operate contract for the 28 hectare precinct. Most recently, Burden worked as a consultant for the NSW Government, leading the business case for the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, the former Olympic Stadium, in Sydney and prior to that as an operations adviser on the newly completed Bankwest Stadium in Western Sydney.
Until July 2018, Burden spent nearly five years as Chief Executive of Vbase, manager of Christchurch’s leading venues including Horncastle Arena, AMI Stadium, Hagley Oval, Air Force Museum Wigram and the Christchurch Town Hall.
Images, courtesy: Kai Tak Sports Park (KTSP)