Why everyone is talking about the Singapore Sports Hub

We were recently lucky enough to be invited for a tour of the new Singapore Sports Hub.

The venue is still under construction (it won’t open until around April 2014) and there is plenty more work to do but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that it is going to completely transform sports in Singapore. What’s more, it looks set to become a hub not just for national sports but for sports in the ASEAN region as a whole.

Here are our top facts:

1. It’s the largest ever public-private partnership in Singapore. The PPP parties are the Singapore Sports Hub, Infrared Capital Partners (finance and investment), Dragages (engineering and construction), DTZ (property services) and Global Spectrum Asia (marketing and venue management). The other companies involved at subcontractor level are World Sports Group (sports marketing, sponsorship and corporate hospitality), New Era (ticketing ), T-Systems (IT services), SMRT and Fairprice (retail mall) and Sports Catering Services (food and beverage).

2. The stadium itself has some unique architecture and design features. It is the largest bowl stadium design in the world and seats 55,000 people. It has retractable seating so that it can be set up for football, athletics or cricket (all of which require different seat configurations). It has a very efficient cooling system and it is carbon neutral because it has photovoltaic cells in the roof. Speaking of the roof, it is covered in LED lights which will enable them to post still and moving images (e.g. the Singapore flag) which will be visible from the sky.

3. Surrounding the main stadium are a number of smaller sports facilities including an aquatic centre with Olympic-sized pool and underwater viewing panel, and several halls able to be used for indoor games such as basketball, tennis, badminton, etc. Other facilities will include a sports library, to facilitate research and development in sports, and a sports museum. There is also office space for sports associations.

4. Big events are coming to the Sports Hub. Currently on the horizon are: the WTA Championships Finals (2014 to 2018), SEA Games 2015 and World Junior Swimming Championships 2015. Expect to see a lot more international events as it gains recognition on the world stage.

5. Sponsorship is a big part of the revenue stream. Venue sponsorship for the main stadium is of course not available  but OCBC recently secured a $50 million 15 year naming rights deal for many of the other facilities. There will be other sponsorship roles available, though, particularly in the Official Supplier Category.

6. They anticipate that 4 million people will pass through the venue each year. There’s a big focus on community events (such as a “Weekend Sports Day Out” where it will be possible to go along and receive coaching), so the venue will not just be used on the days on which events are happening.

7. It’s not just about sports. It’s being positioned not just as a sports venue but as an entertainment and lifestyle hub, so expect to see a broad range of events there. And yes, there’s 41,000 sqm of retail space.

The image and more information about the Sports Hub are available on the Sports Hub website.

Matt Pollins

Author: Matt Pollins

Matt is an international technology, media and telecoms lawyer and Head of Commercial and TMT at CMS in Singapore. He supports clients across Asia-Pacific. You can contact Matt via the "Contact" page. Views expressed on Connected Asia are those of the author. Nothing here constitutes legal advice or creates a lawyer-client relationship.

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