Hong Kong Stadium is the main sports venue in Hong Kong. The stadium was redeveloped from the old Government Stadium and reopened in 1994. The stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 40,000 and regularly hosts international football matches and other large sporting events such as the ever popular Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. But now there are plans to develop an even larger state of the art Sports stadium and complex in Hong Kong, Kai Tak Sports Stadium.
Kai Tak Stadium is part of a billion HK$ sports complex due to be constructed at the site of the old Kai Tak Airport. The plans for the complex comprise a 50,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof, a 5,000-seat sports ground and a 4,000-seat indoor sports centre. The estimated cost is at least HK$19 billion. The whole project will consume 28.2 hectares (8%) of the whole development at Hong Kong's former international airport. Construction of the complex and stadium buildings will be a massive undertaking employing 1000s of construction work and engaging specialist construction expertise from some of the world’s leading contracting and engineering companies. The Public Works Programme will fund the construction, while private sector management will be brought in for the long-term running of facilities.
Regardless of the high financial cost to the public, the new sports complex seems to have plenty of support. The stadium is highly anticipated within the sporting community with the new stadium allowing for up to extra 10,000 people to attend popular events such as the rugby sevens. The new complex will allow Hong Kong to compete with neighbouring Asian countries to attract foreign sports teams and events. Hong Kong is seen as an important gateway in the ever expanding Asia markets and a new state of the art stadium will attract well known sporting brands such as Premier League football clubs to hold lucratively pre-season tours/events in Hong Kong. Another advantage of the new stadium in Kai Tak will be the ability to host entertainment events such as music concerts. The current Hong Kong Stadium has often been regarded as a white elephant largely because in 1999, it was banned from hosting entertainment events following noise complaints from local residents. The area around the stadium is also prone to congestion on match days, and configuration and seating arrangements limit the events/activities that can take place in the stadium. It is hoped the new Kai Tak stadium will solve these issues.
Development of the Kai Tak area and new sports complex will be heavily integrated in to the new Shatin to Central Link (SCL) MTR projects which are currently under construction. This will allow easy access for the public and events goers, as well as helping to ease traffic congestion in the surrounding areas. Kwa Wan Station and Kai Tak MTR Stations will provide to direct access to the stadium. An onsite elevated monorail system has also been suggested to compliment the MTR access and help move people in and out of the site. The monorail system would connect to Kai Tak Station, Kowloon Bay Station and Kwun Tong Station, and would be 9kms long running through the length of the Kai Tak development with 12 stations. The monorail system would have 4 key benefits to the area. 1. Smaller footprint at road level. 2. Reliable and safe service. 3. Convenient MTR interchange. 4. Enhanced tourism appeal. This along with multiple new road access links will ensure the site has sustainable long term transport options.
As a whole the Kai Tak Development (KTD) area has seen massive changes over the last decade and further large scale construction works will continue in the coming years. Some of the large scale construction programmes still to be completed include:
- Multi-purpose Sports Complex
- Kai Tak River
- Two Primary Schools
- Kai Tak Cruise Terminal second berth
- Metro Park (24 hectares)
- Centre of Excellence in Paediatrics
- Kwun Tong Promenade Stage 2
- Route 6 in KTD (Central Kowloon Route and Trunk Road T2)
- Shatin to Central Link MTR projects ongoing
- District Cooling System (remaining)
- Road works, pedestrian links, water supplies, drainage and sewerage systems
The new sports stadium and Kai Tak development as a whole is a massive undertaking and will help provide 1000s of new jobs for construction and engineering staff, as well as encouraging and strengthening tourism within Hong Kong itself. The new development should provide a steady flow of work for commercial, engineering and construction professionals and help strengthen the construction market jobs outlook in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Office