Four years after opening in 2014, the Singapore Sports Hub still does not appear to have gotten its act together.
In an interview with Channelnewsasia’s Lance Alexander in the “Coffee with the Boss” programme, Sports Hub’s current Chief Executive Officer Oon Jin Teik completely dodged a question about upcoming events at the National Stadium and instead went on to remind viewers of events which took place in 2017.
In responding to Alexander’s question about what the Singapore Sports Hub got for us over the next few months, Oon did not state what events were coming up at the venue for the second half of the year.
Instead, he said that the Sports Hub was “building on the momentum created in the last three years” and did not give details of events which the public can enjoy at the National Stadium for the rest of the year.
He added: “If you look at last year for example, in 2017, we have had more than 200 events of all types of which there were more than 2.4 million event attendees.”
Oon did not answer the question which was asked, which only meant that the Sports Hub was going to face another set of quiet months after the International Champions Cup (ICC) involving Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Paris St Germain to be held later this month.
Apart from a possible set of local football matches after the ICC, there does not appear to be any major event at the National Stadium.
This is contrary to what was announced by former Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in January 2008 when the current consortium was selected.
In 2008, Dr Balakrishnan said: “We chose the consortium led by Dragages primarily because we felt that they were strongest in the offering of a comprehensive sporting calendar. For instance, they guaranteed 90 event days in the stadium, and at least 46 event days – sports event days – at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Overall, we saw that the programme consisted of a very well balanced mix of local and regional and international sporting events and across a wide spectrum of sports, which we believe, would resonate with our people.”
Based on Oon’s non-answer, it is likely that the National Stadium will be gathering dust after the ICC until Singapore plays in home Suzuki Cup matches in November.
While Oon also said that the event calendar is “growing from year on year”, there were no details shared but he did state that there were negotiations which the Sports Hub doesn’t share publicly.
In his interview, Oon also stated that the Sports Hub had “more than 15 million footfall in this whole precinct last year.”
What he did not explain was whether the 15 million people also included the people who walk into the Kallang Wave Mall to buy their groceries from NTUC.
Oon also shared how the Sports Hub was a “dream come true for the sporting fraternity” and talk about the “type of content we can potentially bring in”, without realising that in year four of operations, the Sports Hub should be sharing a definitive strategy and should not be looking at mere potential.
He did say that big events were on his radar.
He also shared that the four-year-old building “smells good and smells new.”
When asked about the challenges, Oon also listed the many partners in the project as a challenge, and that they needed to be “coming together as one team.”
Watch the interview here: