The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) is keeping its fingers crossed that the new Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground will open before the year ends. The 12,000-seat complex is situated next to the Siu Sai Wan industrial area, occupying a 43,000 square metre site on the outer portion of the Siu Sai Wan Reclamation on Hong Kong Island. The sports ground is now under construction at a cost of $230 million, of which $53.8 million was contributed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Once it is complete, the new facility will be second only to the Hong Kong Stadium as the territory's most spectacular outdoor sporting facility. HKFA deputy chief executive officer Miranda Yu said the association had big plans for Siu Sai Wan. 'We would like to arrange to play the bigger matches, which are not big enough to stage at the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium, at Siu Sai Wan,' said Yu. 'Sometimes the Mongkok Stadium with 8,500 seats is a bit too small.' Yu added Hong Kong's World Cup qualifying round match against Thailand on March 30 next year might be held at Siu Sai Wan. 'We paid a site visit there in May when the sports ground was 70 per cent completed,' she said. 'We were satisfied with the soccer pitch and the other facilities. It is not a bad idea to schedule the World Cup qualifier between Hong Kong and Thailand there. But it depends on when it is available,' Yu added. Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground is due to be completed and handed over to the Urban Council next month. However, it may take months before the sports ground is open to the public. 'The Urban Services Department [USD] has to do a final check on all the facilities. We hope it can be open within this year,' said USD senior information officer (leisure services) Angela Sin. The Siu Sai Wan venue has a grass infield soccer pitch of international standard, a 400-metre all-weather synthetic running track with eight lanes, standard field event facilities and a weather-proof electronic scoreboard. Other provisions include an arch-shaped, covered spectator stand with all 12,000 seats moulded with fibre glass, and air-conditioned changing rooms with shower. It also has a host of ancillary facilities, including briefing rooms, fast-food kiosk, function rooms, conference room and a VIP room. The ultra-modern sports ground was developed as a conciliatory gesture towards the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association and other bodies angered by the decision to remove the running track from the Hong Kong Stadium. Although the HKFA is more than happy with facilities at the venue, transportation is its main concern as there is no MTR access. Bus route number 84 from Chai Wan MTR station to Heng Fa Chuen is the only form of transportation which stops right in front of the sports ground. Visitors travelling on other bus routes have to walk for five to 10 minutes from the nearest Siu Sai Wan Estate bus terminus. 'We hope the USD can hold discussions with the bus companies and arrange extra bus routes to run between the sports ground and the Chai Wan MTR station before and after football matches,' Yu said.