‘We’ll take action if Kai Tak Sports Park is further delayed’
All 78 members of the SFOC sign a petition calling for funding to be approved for the HK$31.9 billion project with the threat of local athletes picketing outside Legco chamber
The Hong Kong sports community joined forces to press for funding approval of the proposed Kai Tak Sports Park, warning they could take “further action” including picketing to prevent further delays in the massive project.
A joint petition, signed by all 78 members of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SFOC), will be sent to the Legislative Council members before the Council’s Finance Committee considers funding the project.
The project at the former Kai Tak Airport site is expected to cost taxpayers HK$31.9 billion with the government planning to submit the funding request at the committee’s meeting next week on June 16.
“The scarcity of sports venues in Hong Kong is a well-known fact and talk of building the Kai Tak Sports Park has been going on for more than 10 years,” said SFOC president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting after its council meeting on Thursday.
“We believe the completion of the project could help ameliorate the citizens’ needs for more sports venues to stage mega sports events, thereby bringing Hong Kong up to par with neighbouring areas while enhancing the sports standard of Hong Kong in a long run.”
Earlier this week, Football Association chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak heaped pressure on the committee after more than 50,000 tickets for the forthcoming two-day Premier League Asia Trophy was snapped up in less than 24 hours after they were put up on sale. The soccer chief said even if matches were to be play at the proposed 50,000-seat main stadium at the Sports Park, a lot of fans who wouldn’t be able to obtain tickets, would be let down due to the big demand for top-class soccer.
Vivien Lau Chiang-chu, SFOC vice president and chairperson of the Tenpin Bowling Congress, said the completion of the Sports Park would help Hong Kong bid for major international competitions such as the Asian Games or the Youth Olympics.
“Sport is supposed to be apolitical but if LegCo members use filibustering to delay the process, we will mobilise Hong Kong athletes to voice out our request in front of the LegCo chamber,” she said.
The proposed 28-hectare Sports Park features a main stadium, a 10,000-seat indoor arena, a 5,000-seat public sports ground and other support facilities such as a hotel, offices, dining area and open spaces.