Stadium bar managers ejected over $2.6m debt

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 February, 1999, 12:00am

The managers of the Hong Kong Stadium's bar have been ordered out over $2.6 million in unpaid bills - but say a lack of events made it impossible for them to make money.

Oriental Grill, which runs the Stadium Sports Bar & Grill, has been told to stop work immediately and be off the premises by February 15.

The Urban Services Department has scrapped Oriental's contract to run the bar, saying the company owed it millions in rent and utility bills.

But Oriental Grill, in lawyers' letters dating back months seeking a rent reduction to account for the lack of trade, blamed sacked stadium managers Wembley International and the department for its situation.

It said that in the 12 months since its five-year contract began on August 1, 1997, the pitch had been closed for at least 148 days. The Stadium Bar & Grill's location meant it relied on patrons of stadium events for custom, but the number of events dropped from 52 in 1995-96 to about 15 in 1997-98.

'The quantity and quality of the events staged within the stadium have left much to be desired and have, in the main, been largely shunned by the public,' Oriental Grill said.

It said the Hong Kong Stadium had, due to mismanagement, become a laughing stock.

Wembley International's contract was terminated in May last year after a protracted row over the state of the pitch. The Provisional Urban Council took over.

Oriental Grill had been seeking a drop in rent to 10 per cent of revenue, saying the 18 per cent in the contract was now unrealistic.