SINGAPORE – National agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) will incorporate a holding company to own and operate the upcoming Kallang Alive precinct, and a subsidiary of this holding company will be set up specifically to own and manage the Sports Hub.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong made the announcement in Parliament on Monday (Aug 1) as he delivered a ministerial statement in response to MPs’ queries about the Government’s June 10 announcement that it would take over the Sports Hub’s management and ownership.
The move to terminate the partnership with Sports Hub Pte Ltd (SHPL), the private consortium that has been running the $1.33 billion facility since it opened in 2014, brings to an end the public-private partnership and its profit-driven model, which ultimately proved restrictive to the role the Government wanted the Sports Hub to fulfil.
Spelling out the Government’s intentions to build on the foundation of the Sports Hub’s world-class infrastructure, Mr Tong said: “We intend to build on that, and continue to bring in top tier international sporting and entertainment events, whilst at the same time incorporating our ambition of attaining wider and better social and sporting outcomes for Singapore and Singaporeans.”
To do this, SportSG will incorporate a holding company to own and operate the various assets within Kallang Alive.
The Kallang Alive project, announced in 2019, will see six new developments in the area around the Hub.
These include the Kallang Football Hub, Singapore Tennis Centre and a redevelopment of the Kallang Theatre. In a first for Singapore, a velodrome looks set to be built and will be part of the Youth Hub.
A subsidiary of this holding company will be set up specifically to own and manage the Sports Hub.
“This structure will enable SportSG to focus on the Sports Hub, but at the same time, also have regard to its deployment in the wider Kallang Alive precinct,” said Mr Tong.
“Where necessary, it can be operated as a single, integrated entity, able to reap synergies and economies of scale across the entire suite of sporting and lifestyle assets of Kallang Alive.”
Mr Tong added that a team of officers from SportSG have already been earmarked to move into the Sports Hub holding company, and manage Sports Hub on a full-time basis once the takeover is in effect from Dec 9.
“These are officers who have had years of experience with the Sports Hub, many of them having worked alongside SHPL since the inception of the project, gaining experience and know-how along the way.
“They have been functionally organised to cohere with the organisational structure of SHPL, suited to running the Sports Hub. They have been in this position for the last few years, readying for a takeover if and when needed,” said Mr Tong, who also reiterated that existing SHPL employees have been offered an opportunity to cross over into the new corporate entity.
Beyond the new internal structure, he went on to add, the Government will continue to retain the contracting model the SHPL has leveraged on to run the Sports Hub in the areas of programming, broadcast, hospitality, facilities upkeep and management.
This would allow the Government to work with market leading partners to provide the best services and facilities as may be needed, and may also help it tap the private sector, to explore the prospects of redeveloping some parts of the Kallang Alive precinct.
Mr Tong added: “Overall, with SportSG taking over, the Government would be better placed to drive a coherent vision for the whole precinct, and achieve internal synergies while providing more integrated offerings and programmes for the public.”