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TOP OF THE NEWS: The dome picked for Sports Hub

KALLANG will have one of the world’s biggest domes dominating its landscape by the end of 2011, to replace the 35-year-old National Stadium.

The Singapore Sports Hub consortium has pipped two other groups for the right to build and run the Sports Hub for 25 years, it was announced yesterday.

The Government will pay the consortium $1.87 billion in all over this period. Led by construction firm Dragages Singapore, the consortium will bear the $1.2 billion capital expenditure.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, hinted at what set the dome apart from the ‘horseshoe’ and ‘crumpled tissue’ designs of the contenders: its packed sporting calendar.

That accounted for 40 per cent of the ratings by the 11-member evaluation panel, which included Singapore Sports Council (SSC) representatives.

The minister acknowledged that Singaporeans might well query the $1.87 billion the Government was paying out for the Sports Hub.

Singapore needed an icon that would draw in top sporting talent, and create jobs and a lifestyle in sync with a sophisticated service economy, he said.

The stadium was ‘a piece of a much larger jigsaw’ which included the Esplanade, the building of the two integrated resorts and the development of Marina South.

‘This is an investment and this is money well spent,’ he told reporters gathered at The Ritz-Carlton hotel for the announcement of the winning design.

Asked to explain the initial price tag of between $650 million and $800 million, SSC head Oon Jin Teik said that this was based on the 2005 price index which had not accounted for a water sports centre for the new premises.

Besides the water sports centre and the 55,000-seater stadium, the Sports Hub project will also have 41,000 sq m of leisure, shopping and dining facilities.

 

Source: The Straits Times 20 Jan 08

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