Local basketball has suffered a major setback with plans to redevelop the traditional Macpherson Stadium venue. The Land Development Corporation will jointly redevelop the stadium complex site at Yim Po Fong Street, Mongkok, this year with the Hong Kong Playground Association to provide modern recreational facilities and residential flats in the district. However, during the extended construction period - which is expected to last three to four years - the Hong Kong Basketball Association (HKBA) will have to find alternate venues for its domestic competitions, including the league and shield. HKBA honorary secretary Leung Che-kung said the closure of Macpherson Stadium, also known as the Kowloon Queen Elizabeth Stadium, would impose a heavy burden on the sport. 'We have been using Macpherson Stadium as our major venue for more than 40 years. The spectators are used to going there to watch the games,' said Leung. 'Attendance may drop in the first one or two years because it takes time for the spectators to get use to the new venues. 'Without Macpherson, we will have to use Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, the Kowloon Park Indoor Games Hall, or even Wai Tsuen Indoor Recreational Centre in Tsuen Wan. 'Macpherson may not be the cheapest among all the possible venues, but it has the most suitable capacity and the transportation is also very convenient. 'Around 40 local elite games were held at Macpherson each year. Most of our important games were held there. 'We have heard about the redevelopment plan for a few years. I wonder why they didn't do it earlier.' Leung has ruled out the possibility of hosting more games at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai. 'The QE Stadium is far too big and too expensive for domestic games. We only host big invitational tournaments like the Henderson Cup there,' he said. Macpherson Stadium, which can hold about 1,900 spectators with no fixed seats, has been a favourite venue for various local sports and religious organisations. A spokesman for the Lands Department said on Sunday that under the joint venture project, the 2,400-square-metre site will be developed to provide an indoor stadium with 1,800 seats, function rooms and a youth centre within a five-storey building. He said: 'The adjoining Urban Council Macpherson Playground will be realigned. 'A residential block providing 250 flats will be constructed on top of the [five-storey building]. On the ground floor will be shops.'