The leaky roof of the National Stadium at the Sports Hub will be fixed by 11 March, say officials.
Last month, rain leaked through the roof during the Jay Chou concert there, upsetting fans who took to social media to post pictures of the incident.
Officials said on Tuesday that a technical investigation found a “combination of factors” which led to “water dripping from the roof at locations not detected previously”, according to the Straits Times.
“Additional flashing, or rain deviators, will be installed to channel water more efficiently,” the newspaper reported. “The works will be completed before popular boyband One Direction’s scheduled March 11 concert at the Kallang venue.”
The Sports Hub, built at a cost of more than S$1 billion and scheduled to officially open this year in time for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in July, has been hit with bad publicity since last year.
In August, just a month after it opened to the public, cracks were found in the ceiling of the Kallang Wave Mall at the Hub.
SportsHub CEO Philippe Collin Delavaud said then that the upper layer of the double laminated glass had “inherited material impurities during the toughening process.”
Later in August, a football match at the Sports Hub’s National Stadium between Italian side Juventus and a Singapore Selection team attracted complaints about the poor quality of the pitch.
In October, the friendly match between Japan and Brazil also met with criticisms of the pitch from the teams’ officials.
Again in October, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced it was pulling out of using the Sports Hub for the game between the Maori All Blacks and the invitational Asia-Pacific Barbarians at the stadium on Nov 15.
It was a blow to the Sports Hub.
The Union said the match was cancelled due to the poor quality of the pitch.
“We feel somewhat let down that this has happened at this late stage,” NZRU general manager planning and operations Nigel Cass said in a statement.
“It’s very disappointing. This ground is state of the art, it opened in June and we had every reason to expect it would be a world-class venue,” he added.
But another incident in the same month, October, seemed to have brought things to the verge of a boil.
On 23 October, water again seeped through the roof of the Indoor Stadium onto the court during the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) championship tournament.
The competition saw some of the world’s best players taking part, including Caroling Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova, who had earlier also complained about the poor lighting in the stadium.
In November, The Online Citizen (TOC) reported how some tiles at the Hub were rather loosely configured.
The Hub later said that it would get its contractors to make the necessary repairs.
You can see a video of it here: https://www.facebook.com/theonlinecitizen/posts/10152921347061383
In December, the man in charge of the pitch at the Hub, SportsHub Private Limited’s (SHPL) senior director of stadia, Greg Gillin, tendered his resignation.
“Among other things, the Australian was hired to oversee the National Stadium pitch and The New Paper yesterday reported he had quit in the wake of public criticisms of the poor quality of the grass surface at the S$1.33 billion facility’s centrepiece,” the TODAY newspaper reported then.
But his resignation did not signal the end of the Sports Hub’s woes.
Also in December, concert-goers complained of the poor quality of the audio at the Jay Chou concert at the National Stadium, and that rain had leaked through the roof during the concert.
Sports Hub officers and volunteers offered the affected audience members umbrellas and ponchos.
The idea of a sports complex which comprised a national stadium, a swimming arena, among other facilities, was conceived in 2006. Work was expected to start in 2008 but had to be postponed because of the global financial crisis.
It finally started construction in 2011 and was opened to the public in June 2014.
The original budgeted costs were about $400 million but the final bill came to more than S$1 billion.
The Sports Hub project was overseen by then Minister for Community, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan.
It is now in the charge of the new Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth which is helmed by Minister Lawrence Wong.