Construction of Kai Tak complex top of Hong Kong's new sports chief’s priorities

The newly appointed Commissioner for Sports says the new complex will represent a major challenge for him as they seek funding for construction

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 February, 2016, 9:20pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 February, 2016, 1:29pm

The newly appointed Commissioner for Sports says securing the funding for the proposed HK$25 billion construction of the Kai Tak Multi-purpose Sports Complex (MPSC) will be among his highest priorities.

Yeung Tak-keung, who took up the senior post with a sport specific title within the administration this week, said the MPSC, which was first put forward by the government in 2004, remained one of his major challenges as it represented the biggest government investment on sports hardware.

It will be a big challenge to get the required financial backing from Legco under the current situation
Yeung Tak-keung

“The new facility would play an important role in our future sports development and we must let people know how it will benefit us, not only the sports community but also the general public,” he said at a gathering with the media on Friday.

“It will be a big challenge to get the required financial backing from Legco under the current situation but if the general public is supporting it, I think the council members will also support it as they are representing the public.”

Yeung said other than the 50,000-seat main stadium, there were also other facilities to be opened for the public in the MPSC such as a multi-purpose sports ground, commercial space to accommodate retail and food and beverage outlets, a cycling path and other park features, including outdoor seating areas, fitness stations and jogging trails.

“We will set up a new website to provide updates on the MPSC, so that the public can have more information on where we are going and give us suggestions,” he said.

In July, the administration received approval for pre-construction costs of HK$62.7 million from Legco for the complex. They would need to go back to the council no later than 24 months to get another approval for the actual construction costs of the MPSC, estimated to be HK$25 billion in 2015.

Yeung also said this summer’s Olympic Games would be another challenge as they were looking forward to more Hong Kong athletes obtaining tickets to Rio and getting good results. They would also need to promote the Games and the Olympic spirit among the public in Hong Kong.

But the official refused to predict how many medals Hong Kong is likely to get and whether city would win more honours than the bronze won by cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze in London four years ago.

A briefing will also be held later to give athletes an account on what precautionary measures they should take on the threat of the Zika virus, which has ravaged much of Brazil.