Kai Tak’s giant retractable roof segments arrive by boat

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Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Sports Park has taken a step closer to its grand opening after the arrival of the final shipment of the retractable roof steel structure.

The retractable roof – considered one of the key features of the 50,000-capacity Main Stadium at the complex – comprises 15,000 tonnes of structural steel with a main truss span of 180 metres including over 4,800 tonnes of retractable roofing on the east and west sides.

With Kai Tak Sports Park’s proximity to the harbour, the retractable roof trusses, after fabrication in the Chinese cities of Zhongshan and Dongguan, were divided into eight components for shipment to Hong Kong.

The major facilities within the precinct are expected to be completed in phases by the end of 2024, having orginally been scheduled to open this year.

“This marks a pivotal stage in the building of the Main Stadium,” said a spokesperson in a statement.

“The specific design of the retractable roof enables the Main Stadium to host various world-class mega sports, cultural and entertainment events in all weather conditions. With its heavy steel structural roof including stringent acoustic specification, the Main Stadium will be one of the most effective sound insulated sports facilities in the world.”

The Kai Tak project team has been utilising various integrated digital technologies such as Building Information Modelling and Design for Manufacture and Assembly to visualise the entire construction process in advance.

The team will then proceed with lifting the retractable roof using the Hydraulic Strand Jack Lifting System. Kai Tak said this system can greatly increase installation and construction efficiency, work quality and safety.

A rendering of Kai Tak Sports Park

The spokesperson added: “As the largest sports infrastructure project ever in Hong Kong, Kai Tak Sports Park has adopted advanced construction methods and innovative technologies throughout the design and construction process.

“We look forward to staging a diverse range of year-round mega sports events in Hong Kong for years to come. Our team will directly support the Government to implement the sports development policy objectives such as promoting sports for all, supporting elite sports, and promoting Hong Kong as a strategic hub for major international sports events.”

Kai Tak, which will be a host venue for China’s 15th National Games in 2025, was designed by Populous and will be operated by ASM Global.

TheStadiumBusiness team heads to Hong Kong later this year for our much-anticipated regional meeting to bring together the owners and operators of stadiums, arenas and entertainment venues across Asia’s diverse, fast-growing market. TheStadiumBusiness Asia 2023 will be held at The Wave, Kwun Tong in Hong Kong on October 19-20.