• Hong Kong’s Game Plan

    29 May 2018

    With the naming of a shortlist of tenders for the Kai Tak Sports Park, Hong Kong’s US$4-bilion stadium project is edging closer to realisation by 2022 

    Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Bureau has invited New World Development, Dragages Hong Kong and a consortium that includes Alibaba Group and Lan Kwai Fong Group companies to offer their plans for a HK$31.9-billion stadium and sports park in the Kai Tak redevelopment zone.

    The bureau notified three of the six applicants from the prequalification exercise at the end of last year and the final three were named by the South China Morning Post newspaper. The trio have until June 29 to deliver a plan to create 28 hectares of landscaped parkland that will house three multi-purpose sports facilities: a 50,000-seat stadium with retractable roof, a multi-function indoor sports centre that can seat up to 10,000 people, and a sports ground suitable for school athletic events and league football matches.

    The park will also feature a sports-themed shopping centre housing retail, food and beverage outlets. A “dining cove” will also be developed in conjunction with the Sports Park to improve connectivity between the Sports Park and the waterfront.

    Although the legislation to fund the development has not yet passed the city’s Legislative Council, the government claims:

    • funding could be approved as early as the middle of this year;
    • construction could be underway as soon as the third quarter of this year;
    • delivery is scheduled for 2022;
    • the design, construction and operation of the park will be offered to the winning consortium for a 25-year period;
    • the owner-operator may turn a profit of HK$300 million a year, breaking even in the third year of operation, according to one projection; and
    • the project cost has been capped at about HK$31.9 billion.

    Hong Kong’s commissioner for sports, Yeung Tak-keung, wants the 50,000-seat, main stadium to cater to tournaments as important as the Asian Games. Major events, such as the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, would also be staged at the new stadium.

    The details of the stadium plan were revealed during debate in Hong Kong’s parliament earlier this month. The tender requires eligible bidders to have been involved in construction of a building worth more than HK$1 billion, and to have a background in running arenas.

    Earlier, the South China Morning Post reported the Alibaba-aligned consortium had nine investors, including AGTech Holdings, a lottery technology provider that is part of the Alibaba Group; and LKF Attractions, the theme park consulting arm of the Lan Kwai Fong Group.

     

    The New World Development conglomerate is said to be involved in the project through a company called Kai Tak Sports Park Ltd. And the third company on the shortlist, Dragages Hong Kong, has a long history of involvement on the site. Dragages was involved in the harbor reclamation works to build the Kai Tak Airport runway in 1955.

    The Kai Tak Sports Park will be the biggest investment in sport infrastructure by the Hong Kong government in decades. While there have been a series of plans for the waterfront site in Kowloon since its closure as the city’s international airport in 1998, until now, no single plan has gotten off the ground.

    The operations consultant on the project are a joint venture by the Australian engineering firm WorleyParsons’ Advisian advisory services group and KPMG. The joint venture is responsible for specifying user requirements, business plans, financial projections and performance measurements for the infrastructure’s operation.

    The joint venture also has a role in procurement and management. Supplier and services partners are currently being sought in  facility management and operations, commercial operations, construction and equipment supplies, technology providers, and  event promotion. Interested parties can register at www.kaitaksportspark.hk/en/register_business_interest.html 

    In addition to the Kai Tak Sports Park project, the Kong Kong government has earmarked another HK$20 billion for 26 projects in the next four years to overhaul the city’s sport and recreation facilities.

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