Stadium to be busy despite turf concerns

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 August, 1998, 12:00am

At least 35 events have been booked at the Hong Kong Stadium by sports and charity organisations even though the pitch is just showing signs of recovery.

Provisional urban councillors yesterday visited the stadium to check the progress of the newly turfed area.

'The preliminary stage is satisfactory but we still have the coming 12 weeks' consolidation period to go,' said Provisional Urban Councillor Ambrose Cheung Wing-sum, chairman of the stadium board of governors.

'Then there is a climate change in winter, so we would not rule that the pitch has completely recovered at this stage.' He said frequency of events would have to be controlled strictly when the stadium reopened next month to safeguard the pitch.

'We have to have at least a week between football matches for the grass to rest and grow,' he said.

Urban Services Department officers marched in to take control of the stadium on May 26 when management company Wembley International was ousted, accused of a serious and persistent breach of its obligations.

The two sides are to settle the dispute in court.

Stadium management will be carried out by the department until March 31 next year.

Mr Cheung said the department would compile a thorough report on improving the stadium. A suggestion that it be used for golf training would be considered, he said.

Stadium manager Donald Choy Chai-mun said they had received 35 bookings to use the venue between October and next March.