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Hong Kong Stadium set for reduced capacity

Hong Kong authorities have revealed plans to scale back Hong Kong Stadium from a capacity of 40,000 to 9,000 once Kai Tak Sports Park is delivered in 2023.

Hong Kong Stadium has served as the special administrative region of China’s main sports venue since it was redeveloped from the old Government Stadium in 1994. However, it is soon set to lose this status to Kai Tak Sports Park and Hong Kong is planning for its long-term future.

A Leisure and Cultural Services Department report submitted to Wan Chai District Council this week stated that a reduction in capacity from 40,000 to 9,000, rather than 18,000, would be preferable for noise pollution reasons.

A technical feasibility study for a redevelopment of Hong Kong Stadium is set to be conducted in the coming year, with work to commence after the Sports Park opens. The new-look Hong Kong Stadium will be a more intimate venue for smaller-scale events, while it will also have an athletics track added.

Sports Commissioner Yeung Tak-keung told local broadcaster RTHK: “We consider that by 2023, 2024, in Hong Kong we do not need two big stadiums of similar capacity.

“We can have top-level events at Kai Tak and other tiers of events in Hong Kong Stadium as well as in Tseung Kwan O, Mong Kok stadiums etc, so there will be a clear division of work among the different facilities.”

Yeung said the redeveloped Hong Kong Stadium will help local sports development by allowing events of different levels to take place.

He added: “For example, at the moment some football clubs or the Football Association want to play some football matches at the Hong Kong Stadium, but they think they may not attract over 10,000 spectators or they would consider that the gate receipts may not be able to cover the cost.

“The current facilities at the Hong Kong Stadium are not up to current standards for hosting international football matches.”

The team behind Kai Tak Sports Park, a wide-ranging sports and entertainment precinct anchored by a 50,000-seat stadium, released updated renderings of the project in December 2020. The Sports Park has been designed by Populous and will be operated by ASM Global.

Image: Jon Parise/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size