• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 1:57pm
NewsHong Kong

HK$40 billion plan to build Hong Kong's biggest sports complex

Massive development that includes 50,000-seat stadium would be built and run by private companies in 'cheapest' of five proposals

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 3:49am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 11:03am

Private companies would design, build and operate Hong Kong's biggest sports complex under a HK$40 billion proposal favoured by the government.

The Home Affairs Bureau, outlining the plan in a paper for legislators, says it is the cheapest of five options recommended by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services.

It includes HK$23 billion for construction alone, as estimated in another document last month.

Other costs including design, maintenance and the buildings' "life-cycle" costs incurred during the 30-year concession period make up the remaining HK$17 billion.

The complex will have a 50,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof, a 5,000-seat sports ground and a 4,000-seat indoor sports centre. It will take up 28.2 hectares, roughly eight per cent of the whole development at the former international airport.

"Our aim is that the design of the stadium will allow for a greater range of events than the Hong Kong Stadium [with] scope for large-scale entertainment events," the bureau says in the document to be discussed by the Legislative Council home affairs panel on Monday.

It envisages that enterprises such as construction companies, event organisers and facility managers would form a company to design, build and operate the complex.

This company would raise the capital to finance the project and when commercial operations started, the government would begin paying back the costs.

The document said the model would reduce cost to the government as the risk of design and construction variations would be shouldered by the private sector.

Surveyor Raymond Chan Yuk-ming said more details were needed before deciding whether the risk-adjusted cost of HK$40 billion was reasonable. He said the design and operation costs would be less than HK$17billion. He said the model would allow the government to begin the project sooner but at the same time it would lose control over design and construction quality.

Under the plan, construction would start in April 2016 and last 42 months. The document said the project would only be financially viable if the government paid back all the capital costs and guaranteed the operating company a return on equity.

Other options put forward by the consultants included a joint venture, or leasing the land to a private company which would cover all the costs and take all the revenue.

Another involved so-called public works programmes, under which the government would pay all the costs then enter into a management contract.

Plans for the sports complex caused controversy in 2012 when a government adviser said it should be moved to Lantau Island to make way for more flats at Kai Tak.



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This article is now closed to comments

There is no financial benefit but every major city needs a big sporting venue. Everyone knows it is a white elephant but needs to go ahead.
But I will never understand why they don't build a shopping mall underneath it and around it. Kai Tak is in the center of Kowloon. The need to make the stadium a place to go even when there are no sporting events / converts. There should be malls, restaurants, kids areas.
This land is far to valuable for just a sports stadium used 80 days a year. They need to maximize the space. When it is not for sports it should do conventions and exhibitions (it will have a retractable roof.
If the HK government can show how this will help all people of HK and be something awesome it will be better accepted by the people. Right now most people will just think it is a replacement of HK stadium paid for with tax money (and they would be right)
It's OK fellas, the government is trying to bankrupt the colony before the Chinese come in 2047.
I presume the HK stadium cannot be used for concerts because of noise as it is in a residential area. What is the cost to put a roof over the existing stadium.it should be less than $50 billion?
We cannot even fill the 40k stadium... Another 50k stadium will just be a waste of money and a constant drain on public finances.
The developer wants to have a guaranteed equity return so as long as it is built they get a guaranteed profit. What a scam!!!!
Why would you need a 50K seat stadium right in the middle of Kowloon?
What would be done of the 40K stadium in Hong Kong?
If the project would only be financially viable if the government paid back all the capital costs and guaranteed the operating company a return on equity then there is no financial reasons for it. Is there a need I don't see the present stadium been booked out except for rugby sevens.
There must be a better use for the land.
"The document said the project would only be financially viable if the government paid back all the capital costs and guaranteed the operating company a return on equity."
Hello??? What benefit is this to the taxpayer?
There will be the usual scramble by the usual inside players to get the lucrative contracts. It will be badly thought out and badly designed unless an experienced overseas expert outfit has control, but that's unlikely to happen because of the political scratch - each others' backs culture prevailing in today's crony Hong Kong system.
So $50 billion is the costs .... What are the benefits to HK economy? HK first division soccer is mainly played in Mongkok stadium which has a 6k capacity . Even some of the HK international soccer friendly matches are played there. So it's seems like a waste to build another 50k stadium for rugby sevens itself and occasional concerts.
Before we spend a single penny of taxpayer money on this, can somebody from the government tell us precisely what events we can expect in this commercially completely inviable stadium? What will we be paying HKD 7,000 (+recurring operating costs) per Hongkonger for? And will the tickets then be free for all since this was all paid for with our money?

We have no mass audience sport events or big-stadium sport culture to speak of in this city. And I am glad for it, but that aside. The only mass audience sport event we host, is the HK Rugby Sevens, of which 90% of tickets go to the clubs and corporate sponsors anyway, so there is little public interest at stake even with that event.

The HK stadium's 40,000 seats are mostly empty the other 362 non-Sevens days of the year, and we can't even manage half-decent grass growing there. So what exactly are we going to do with another 50,000 seat stadium? Will the Sevens be hosted there then? And if so, then what is the remaining use of the HK Stadium, built for the Sevens?

Which events does the government see coming to HK so that we can see both this new 50,000 seats Kai Tai Stadium, and the 40,000 seats in the HK Stadium fully filled at least twice every month? If they can't be filled for even just 24 days/evenings every year, why on earth would be build this?
If HK$6 billion funding request to build a new RTHK headquarters has to be scrapped because of the amount involved, a $40 billion plan to build the sports complex certainly warrants careful thought by the Government and the lawmakers as regards its priority. Isn’t it always claimed by our Government that building more public housing units has the highest priority now? Is the land of 320 hectares covering the ex-airport site readily available to satisfy the much sought-after land for public housing purposes?
Another money grab by the property tycoons!
Let's say no to this!
The government should fix/ invest in other things instead: e.g., air pollution, MPF, healthcare



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