The Hong Kong government has proposed an 80-per-cent reduction in capacity for the national stadium after plans for Kai Tak Sports Park recently took a step forward.

Late last month, the government awarded the contract for the design, construction and operation of the long-awaited Sports Park project to a subsidiary of local property developer New World Development.

First mooted in 2005, Kai Tak Sports Park will centre on a new 50,000-seat stadium. The Kai Tak Sports Park Ltd entity is a subsidiary of New World Development and NWS Holdings established specifically for the project. Its project team comprises overseas and local experts including the likes of Populous, SMG and Lagardère Sports.

The South China Morning Post newspaper reported that the government has now proposed that the existing Hong Kong Stadium should have around 80 per cent of its 40,000 seats removed on the back of the announcement.

The Post, citing a proposal drafted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, reported that the decision has been taken with the planned 50,000-seat stadium at Kai Tak Sports Park set to “largely fulfil the same function”.

The department said “large sporting events” currently held at Hong Kong Stadium would be held at the new site, lowering the usage of the 40,000-seat venue. The government has proposed repurposing the stadium as a public sports ground.

According to the Post, the department has proposed that a spectator stand that can seat 8,000 to 9,000 people be built, along with multi-purpose conference rooms, a media centre and a sufficiently-sized car park.

The government has said construction work on the Kai Tak Sports Park will commence in the first quarter of 2019, with completion set for 2023.

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