HK$1b velodrome for Tseung Kwan O

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am

Construction of a HK$1.06 billion indoor velodrome for use by both elite athletes and hobbyists will start in March if lawmakers endorse the project.

The cycling arena, planned together with a new town park next to the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, a major East Asian Games venue, will become the first indoor cycling track in the city to meet international competition standards and is expected to be completed in 2013.

It will compensate for the loss of the outdoor velodrome of the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin, which will be dismantled this month for the institute's redevelopment.

According to a paper submitted to Legco's home affairs panel yesterday, the sports venue not only will be used by athletes for training and competition purposes, but will also be open to the public, addressing a lack of leisure space for residents and students.

The project, proposed in 2006, has met general support in the Sai Kung District Council and the Hong Kong Cycling Association. Democratic Party district councillor Gary Fan Kwok-wai said the only remaining concern was how much access the public would get to the velodrome.

'The government has yet to tell us how much time the venue is committed to elite athletes and how often the public can use it. It had better give a percentage to make things clear,' Fan said.

The chairman of the Legislative Council's home affairs panel, Ip Kwok-him, said the panel would consider the project, taking into account the benefit to the Tseung Kwan O district. A decision is due next month.

The velodrome would feature a 250-metre-long cycling track, 2,000 permanent seats and 1,000 portable seats, a multi-purpose area in the centre that could be used to play basketball, volleyball, badminton or do gymnastics. The complex would also include meeting rooms, a restaurant and a sports goods shop.

The rest of the 6.87-hectare site will be turned into a town park with an amphitheatre and an artificial lake among other sports facilities.