Singapore Sports Hub A Go

The fabled Sports Hub is finally a reality.

The Singapore Sports Council announced Aug. 26 that the 35-hectare sports facility, the construction of which has been pushed back twice, will be completed by April 2014. Demolition of the existing National Stadium will begin next month.

The Sports Hub will be managed by Global Spectrum. It will include a 55,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof, a 6,000-capacity indoor aquatic centre, a water sports venue and some 41,000 square meters of commercial space.

A private consortium will also add a beach volleyball court and rock climbing wall, neither of which were included in the initial proposal. The cost of construction will be about $1.33 billion. The original cost was estimated at $1.2 billion in 2008.

The Hub, part of the city-state’s Greater Marina Bay masterplan, has been plagued by delays and criticism. After the Singapore Sports Hub Consortium beat several competitors to become the preferred bidder in 2008, the consortium, which also includes facility management company United Premas and event management firm World Sport Group, couldn’t raise enough money thanks to the worldwide recession.

The initial cost to the government of Singapore was to be $1.87 billion over a 25-year period, but the figure will probably change.