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Design & Development

Kai Tak Sports Park facility nears competition

Featured image credit: Kai Tak Sports Park

Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground, which will form part of the wide-ranging Kai Tak Sports Park complex being built in Hong Kong, is nearing completion following the installation of a ‘lay and play’ turf system.

Kai Tak Sports Park, which will feature a 50,000-capacity Main Stadium and a 10,000-capacity Indoor Sports Centre, is set to open in 2025, with a winter testing period scheduled for later this year.

Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground will have a capacity of 5,000 and will be capable of hosting a wide range of sports and community events. Developers hope the venue will serve as a hub for sports associations, academic institutions and other stakeholder groups. It will also offer public time slots for jogging activities.

The turf laying project at Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground saw the facility become the first public sports ground in Hong Kong to adopt ‘land and play’ technology. The turf was first planted in Zhuhai, China and transported to the Youth Sports Ground on the same day of harvesting.

Underneath the turf system, multiple structures have been fitted, such as rapid drainage and automatic sprinklers, to ensure healthy growth. The turf is a ‘carpet hybrid’ root-zone reinforcement system, also known as ‘hybrid turf’.

The turf, which was planted into sand via the sprigging method, matured over a period of 10 to 12 weeks. The mature turf was then harvested into rolls in five days, with each roll measuring 1.2 metres wide and 10 metres long, totalling around 650 rolls of turf.

Following the installation of the turf system at Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground, other elements such as the athletics track, pitch lights and related equipment will be installed and tested gradually.

Daniel Fan, operations manager at Kai Tak Sports Park, said: “The turf is a core facility of professional sports venues. The Kai Tak Youth Sports Ground has adopted ‘lay and play’ technology which is already widely used in many top European league stadiums, including Anfield, London Stadium and Wembley Stadium.

“The turf system is like a carpet with natural and artificial grass fibres attached to it. After the carpet is laid, it only requires filling with a layer of lightweight planting sand, and simple grooming to stand upright, ensuring it is readily available for use in sporting events. This innovative technology is not only efficient in establishing a high-quality playing surface instantly but also eliminates the lengthy planting process, making turf care and maintenance more flexible.”

Malcolm Caddies, general manager of sports turf and landscaping at Kai Tak Sports Park, added: “The hybrid turf closely mimics the feel and performance of natural grass, but the inclusion of artificial turf fibres in the hybrid composition helps absorb extra wear and tear during sporting events, resulting in a more durable playing surface. The excellent stability and appropriate elasticity of the hybrid turf provide superior shock absorption characteristics. This helps athletes maintain better balance, prevent injuries, and perform more precise movements on the field.”

It is anticipated that the main facilities of Kai Tak Sports Park will be completed by the end of 2024. Once the trial operations and testing are deemed satisfactory, the complex is expected to be operational in the first half of 2025.

Kai Tak Sports Park has been designed by Populous and it will be operated by ASM Global. In September last year, Populous senior principal Richard Breslin spoke to TheStadiumBusiness.com to discuss the vision behind the complex.

Kai Tak Sports Park will also host TheStadiumBusiness Asia from October 16-18. Click here for more details.