Government to apply for $50m funding in May
Detailed pre-construction work for a huge sport stadium at Kai Tak, mooted for years since the airport relocated to Chek Lap Kok, could begin as early as mid 2014 once the government secures initial funding.
In a paper issued to the Legislative Council’s Panel on Home Affairs last Friday, the Home Affairs Bureau finally advised that the multi-purpose sports complex would be built using public funds as part of the government’s Public Works Programme instead of a public-private funding arrangement as some people were advocating.
The main stadium, with an initial cost estimate of HK$23 billion, would have capacity for 50,000 spectators and come with a retractable roof.
Other facilities include a public sports ground, an indoor sports centre, office space of at least 10,000 square metres and commercial space of at least 31,500 square metres.
There would also be some park facilities such as tai chi areas and a cycling trail to connect to the wider cycling network in the Kai Tak Development.
The bureau said a retractable roof would provide scope for a wide range of events and protect the playing surface during adverse weather.
“The related technology is similar to stadium architects, and there are many successful examples of stadia retractable roofs in other parts of the world,” the bureau said.
To prepare the way, the bureau will apply for an initial sum of HK$50 million from the Finance Committee later in May for quantity surveying services for tender preparation, ground investigation, topographic and tree surveys and utility mapping, planning consultancy services and research studies on specialist technology and services related to stadium design and operation.
On securing funding, pre-construction work will start in mid-2014 for completion in mid-2016.
As for the exact procurement method, the bureau said it was considering design-build-operate or design-and-build plus separate operating contracts.
“Our aims is to ensure that the design of the [sports complex] meets our long-term operational needs and encourages the contractors responsible for the design and construction to provide cost-effective solutions within a clearly defined time-frame,” the bureau said.
Work is due to start tentatively in mid-2016 for completion in 2019-20.
The start of work on the complex will add to an increasingly crowded site area at Kai Tak Development.
Among the infrastructure projects in progress or under planning are various roads, the District Cooling System, the Shatin to Central Link project of the MTR Corporation (0066) and the Central Kowloon Route.
There is also the proposed light rail system covering Kowloon East known as the Environmentally Friendly Linkage System, housing projects of the Housing Authority, various government facilities such as schools and private development projects for the plots of land sold by the government to developers.
A design-and-build procurement would mean heavy hitters with healthy balance sheets and a record of delivering such projects such as Leighton Contractors (Asia), Dragages Hong Kong and Gammon Construction would be interested in such a showcase project.
The proposal to employ a retractable roof would mean the possible involvement of specialist subcontractors such as Craft Projects International, currently putting the finishing touches on the retractable dome at the National Stadium in Singapore.