Kai Tak Sports Park, the new sports and entertainment precinct being developed in Hong Kong, is facing delays of up to a year.
The delays are set to affect the opening times for the 50,000-seat stadium that will anchor the project, which is now not set to open until late 2024 having initially been scheduled for next year.
The adjacent indoor sports arena, which has a seating capacity of up to 10,000, has also slipped to mid-2024. However, a public sports ground designed for community sports, sports days, training sessions and domestic competitions, including 5,000 spectator seats, is still on course to open in late 2023.
Hong Kong’s Commissioner of Sports, Yeung Tak-keung, has blamed major delays in the supply of construction materials due to COVID-19, along with a shortage of workers. “We have ordered many construction materials, such as steel and other component parts, but the shipment dates kept changing,” Yeung said, according to The Standard newspaper. “Some suppliers were unable to provide the materials and (we) had to find other suppliers.”
Yeung said he expects the project to stay within its HK$30bn (£3.11bn/€3.63bn/$3.82bn) budget, despite the latest developments. He also believes it will not affect Hong Kong’s co-hosting of China’s 15th National Games in 2025.
In August 2021, Hong Kong and Macau were chosen as co-hosts alongside Guangdong, the first time the two former colonies will stage a major national sporting event. While the events for the Games have yet to be assigned, Kai Tak Sports Park (pictured in January), and its main stadium, have been lined up for prominent roles.
Yeung said: “The Games are scheduled for September 2025. We will have adequate time to conduct all the trials and prepare after the facilities are put to use in 2024.”
The team behind Kai Tak Sports Park released updated renderings of the project in December 2020. The Sports Park has been designed by Populous and will be operated by ASM Global.
The precinct is located beside the harbour at Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay, and is designed to be a unique year-round destination with multi-purpose facilities.
Image: 建園春秋/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size