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Ambitious plans revealed for HK$32 billion Kai Tak Sports Park
Plans for the development of the 28-hectare Kai Tak Sports Park complex in Hong Kong have moved forward with the release of reference designs for the project.
Located on the former site of the Kai Tak airport in south east Kowloon, the Kai Tak Sports Park has previously been described by the Hong Kong Government as “the most important investment in sports infrastructure in recent decades.”
Plans for the project, seen as vital for the Administrative Region’s ability to attract major sporting events, include a 50,000-capacity stadium, a public sports ground, an indoor sports centre, a 60,000 metre² retail and dining area, and more than eight hectares of public open space with landscaped gardens, jogging trails and a waterfront promenade.
Local design practice Leigh & Orange and Australian sports specialists Jackson Architecture have led the design of the scheme, while a joint venture between global auditing firm KPMG and consultancy Advisian is working with the government's Home Affairs Bureau to make it happen.
Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department approved the plan in January, pre-construction works have taken place, and now members of the Home Affairs Bureau’s Legislative Council are being asked to support a funding application to the government’s Finance Committee.
Final planning approval must be granted by the TPB. It is currently reviewing a request from the developers, filed last month, to relax building height restrictions for the stadium along with the real estate component of the project.
According to the bureau, such allowances are “comparable to international practice” and would allow the main stadium to be “on par with latest designs in other parts of the world.”
It has argued that the additional vertical space is needed to install a spanned truss system for a retractable roof, which will ensure the stadium complies with noise level regulations and can be used in all weathers.
The extra height would also “add visual interest as a landmark to the skyline, ensure sufficient space for crowd dispersal management and celebrate Kai Tak Sports Park development as a gateway.”
Approval is also being sought for a hotel development and a large outdoor restaurant, in order to cater to athletes, sport-related organisations and the media.
The Hong Kong Government sees that the development would not only support elite athletics and attract international events but will also be a focus for recreation and activity for the local population. According to its estimates, a lack of infrastructural investment combined with the growing population means that Hong Kong will suffer a shortfall of three indoor sports centres and one public sports ground by 2024 if nothing is done.
According to its plans, the main stadium in Kai Tak Sports Park would host at least 10 football matches annually, in addition to 30 concerts and other events.
Each of the other facilities would be used to host competitive events more than 40 times per year.
The estimated cost of the construction works for the Sports Park is about HK$31.9 billion.
• A multi-purpose Main Stadium with a spectator capacity of around 50,000 for major sports events, including international football and rugby matches, as well as cultural and entertainment events such as concerts and large-scale community activities. The venue is equipped with an acoustic retractable roof and a flexible turf system. It can also be turned into different spectator configurations (between 20,000 seats and 50,000 seats) by means of stage positioning, draping and other settings to cater for the needs of different activities.
• A Public Sports Ground, with a spectator capacity of around 5,000 and suitable for school athletics meets, athletics training, and local football and rugby matches. During non-event days, it will be open for members of the public to jog, exercise and play football.
• A large Indoor Sports Centre with a multi-purpose main arena (10,000 seats) and an ancillary sports hall (500 seats), which will host different tournaments, including international badminton and boxing fixtures. On non-event days, the two venues can provide space equivalent to around 48 badminton courts for community indoor sports activities.
• Retail and dining outlets with a gross floor area of about 60,000 metre², including a bowling centre with 40 lanes and a 2,500 metre² health and wellness centre. To enhance the connectivity of the Sports Park and waterfront, a “dining cove” of about 3,000 metre² will be located adjacent to the south of the Main Stadium.
• More than 8 hectares of Public Open Space including a platform across Shing Kai Road, a landscaped garden, waterfront promenade, passive amenities and park features such as outdoor courts, children’s playgrounds, fitness stations, jogging trail, a cycle track connecting the cycle track network to the wider Kai Tak Development Area.
A range of Australian-based consultants have been part of the project team including Dean Hassall of Dean Hassall Consulting and former Belgravia Leisure Chief Executive Adrian Johnston.
The precinct is to be built as a design, build and operate scheme with details expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Images: Kai Tak Sports Park
Article amended 19th March 2017. Previously the article referred to the project being costed at US$31.9 billion when the amount budgeted is HK$31.9 billion.
16th November 2016 - HONG KONG GOVERNMENT TO STAGE KAI TAK SPORTS PARK OPPORTUNITY BRIEFING
5th October 2016 - HONG KONG GOVERNMENT TO TENDER KAI TAK SPORTS PARK DEVELOPMENT IN MID 2017
24th June 2016 - HONG KONG GOVERNMENT ADVANCES KAI TAK SPORTS PARK PROJECT
28th January 2016 - HONG KONG GOVERNMENT LOOKS TO CULTURE AND SPORT TO ATTRACT VISITORS
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