Thursday 18 October 2012

New National Stadium: Why is capacity still 55,000?

Sustainability the key factor

THE Singapore Sports Council conducted a feasibility study to determine the best-fit number of seats for the National Stadium in the new Sports Hub ("New National Stadium: Why is capacity still 55,000?" by Mr William Chua; last Wednesday).

Our key consideration was to sustain the occupancy of these seats on a regular basis.

Our findings revealed that a seating capacity of 45,000 would be able to accommodate most medium- to large-scale sports and entertainment events. We decided to add 10,000 more seats to cater for exceptional events such as the annual National Day Parade.

Our study also showed that a seating capacity beyond 55,000 would have increased the cost of building the National Stadium significantly, which would not be prudent and cost-effective.

Thus, our decision to set the seating capacity of the National Stadium at 55,000 stems from reasons of practicality, prudence and optimisation.

To further maximise the number of days the National Stadium could be used, we opted to have a retractable roof, which would make the stadium Singapore's largest all-weather venue for 365 days a year.

It will also be the only stadium in the world that is custom-built to host football, rugby, cricket and athletic events in one venue.

The entire Sports Hub can accommodate up to 80,000 people throughout the other sports venues besides the National Stadium.

These include the existing 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium, a 6,000-capacity (3,000 permanent seats with the option to go up to 6,000 with temporary seats) indoor Aquatic Centre, a 3,000-capacity multi-purpose arena, other open spaces around the Sports Hub, a shopping mall and water sports centre.

Come 2015, Singapore will host the 28th South-east Asian Games, and the Sports Hub will be one of the key competition venues for various sports.

We hope Singaporeans will turn out in full force at the Sports Hub to support our Team Singapore athletes during the Games.

We thank Mr Chua for his feedback.

Alvin Hang
Director, Corporate Communications & Relations
Singapore Sports Council
ST Forum, 17 Oct 2012

New National Stadium: Why is capacity still 55,000?

BY APRIL next year, the new National Stadium will take its place on the Singapore skyline, and in the record books with the largest dome in the world ("New National Stadium to have world's largest dome"; last Friday).

But why is its seating capacity only 55,000?

The old National Stadium was built in 1973 with a seating capacity of 55,000, but Singapore's population then was only 2.2 million.

National events were held at the old stadium, such as the National Day celebrations, which many Singaporeans were unable to attend because of the low seating capacity.

With Singapore's population now at 5.31 million, why are we building a new stadium with the same seating capacity as that of the old National Stadium?

When one talks of the size of a stadium, one usually refers to the seating capacity, and not the dome size.

If we are going to build a modern stadium that will last for at least 40 more years, modernising without increasing the seating capacity is a big mistake.

William Chua
ST Forum, 10 Oct 2012


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