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LCQ4: Kai Tak Sports Park
     Following is a question by the Hon Kenneth Fok and a reply by the Under Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Raistlin Lau, in the Legislative Council today (March 20):
     There are views that the Kai Tak Sports Park (KTSP) is a venue developed with the objective of becoming a "world-class destination for all interests", and under the Government's goal of making every effort to promote sports development along the "five strategic directions", the KTSP shoulders important missions, such as hosting the National Games and major sports events, as well as facilitating the integrated development of sports in the Guangdong-‍Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) as the Government indicated in the reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on January 24 this year that the KTSP would be completed by phases by the end of this year, of the progress of the relevant works, and whether it can provide the latest timetable for completion to demonstrate clearly if the works can be completed as scheduled;
(2) given the upcoming 15th National Games in 2025, whether the authorities have plans to reserve venues in the KTSP for conducting long-term exchanges or training by sports organisations in the GBA; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as the KTSP's Main Stadium has a seating capacity of up to 50 000, whether the authorities have assessed if catering and other ancillary facilities in the KTSP have sufficient capacity to provide services at a reasonable standard?
     The Government is committed to promoting sports development in Hong Kong by promoting sports in the community, supporting elite sports, developing Hong Kong into a centre for major international sports events, enhancing professionalism and developing sports as an industry. This include promoting sports at community level, increasing and enhancing sports and recreation facilities, and encouraging collaboration among communities in fostering a strong sporting culture; strengthening the support to elite athletes as well as attracting major international sports events to Hong Kong. At the same time, we endeavour to promote sports development in Hong Kong through enhanced professionalism in the sports sector and the development of sports as an industry.
     Being the largest sports infrastructure project in Hong Kong's history, the Kai Tak Sports Park (KTSP) is crucial to the Government's implementation of the relevant sports policies. The KTSP adopts a "Design, Build and Operate" model, with Kai Tak Sports Park Limited (KTSPL) as the Contracted Party responsible for the design, construction and future operation of the KTSP. The contract is for 25 years, including five years for design and construction and approximately 20 years for operation.
     Occupying an area of about 28 hectares, the KTSP will provide modern and multi-purpose sports and recreation facilities upon completion, including a 50 000-seat Main Stadium, a 10 000-seat Indoor Sports Centre, a 5 000-seat Public Sports Ground and about 14-hectare landscaped open space and other ancillary facilities. Among others, the Main Stadium, equipping with a retractable roof, offering different stage positioning and seating configurations as well as adopting a flexible pitch system design, provides more options for hosting different types of large-scale cultural and entertainment events such as concerts.
     My consolidated reply to the questions raised by the Hon Kenneth Fok is as follows:
     The construction of the KTSP commenced in February 2019. Currently, the main structure of the Public Sports Ground, the Indoor Sports Centre and the Main Stadium have been largely completed. The construction works of the KTSP reached a significant milestone last month as the exterior building façade panels of the Main Stadium, designed with the theme "Pearl of the Orient", has been completed successfully. This brings another significant landmark for Kowloon East and our Victoria Harbour. The construction of the KTSP as a whole has now entered into the final phase of construction. Works that are taking place at present include installation and testing of building services, interior renovation works, landscaped works, trees planting, roof and walkway greening. According to the current construction process, we expect that the major facilities of the KTSP will be completed by end of 2024. When the construction works, defects rectification and all statutory testing are completed, KTSPL will arrange test runs and test events for its facilities. Upon successful implementation of the test events and satisfactory completion of various testing, the KTSP will be open in the first half of 2025.
     Being the Contracted Party, KTSPL is committed to providing a one-stop sports, leisure, catering and shopping experience for citizens and tourists. With respect of the catering services, the 57 executive suites in the Main Stadium are supported by catering service providers offering various kinds of upscale dining options. Besides, there are some 30 bars and catering outlets in the Main Stadium which should be able to meet the catering needs as compared to other facilities of similar scale in the world. In addition, KTSPL will, with reference to the scale and needs of different events and matches as well as at the requests of organisers, arrange 10 to 20 mobile catering booths during the staging of large-scale events. The number of catering booths will be flexibly increased based on actual situation to ensure the provision of diversified and reasonably-priced Chinese, Western and Asian cuisines well-liked by the public, thereby meeting the needs of people from different countries and of different multicultural background.
     Apart from the catering facilities in the Main Stadium, there are over 700 thousands feet of retail and catering facilities in the KTSP, providing international cuisines in some 70 outlets. There is a covered Sports Avenue running across the entire precinct from North to South, connecting the harbourfront promenade and the Dining Cove in the southernmost part of the KTSP. Citizens and tourists can choose to dine in the indoor or outdoor areas in the nine diversified concept restaurants thereat and enjoy the breath-taking views of the Victoria Harbour. In fact, the neighbouring districts of Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan which are in close proximity of the KTSP also provide an array of dining options. Citizens who visit the KTSP for matches or large-scale events can easily proceed to the two districts for a taste of our local culinary delights.
     Other than committing to providing exceptional experience for visitors, KTSPL is dedicated to providing quality and multi-purpose facilities for different sports organisations and clubs. KTSPL has been liaising closely with different government departments and relevant stakeholders, including national sports associations, sports organisations, schools, as well as representatives of sports sector in the Guangdong-Macao-Hong Kong Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the Mainland, to understand more on their needs of using the facilities of the KTSP and exchange views with a view to formulating long-term co-operation strategies.
     The 15th National Games would be unprecedentedly co-hosted in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in 2025. Hong Kong citizens, people living in the GBA and even sports lovers from all parts of the Mainland can visit the competition venues in Hong Kong for watching the high-level matches and cheer for the athletes. With some of the competitions to be staged in the KTSP, we believe that sports exchange between the citizens in Hong Kong and the GBA will be even more frequent. In fact, the sports sector in Hong Kong has all along maintained a close relationship with their counterparts in the GBA. Local athletes and sports organisations make frequent visits to nearby provinces and cities for exchange and competitions. Upon its completion, the KTSP will not only become one of the major sports venues in the GBA, but also provide a new platform for exchange, promoting the overall sports development of Hong Kong. KTSPL is formulating the venue booking mechanism, including giving priority arrangements for sports activities.
     The vision of the KTSP is to be a sports park for the people of Hong Kong. Despite the challenges we faced since the commencement of the construction works in February 2019, we are now a few steps away in welcoming the most important investment in sports infrastructure of Hong Kong in the past few decades. We believe that the KTSP, upon completion, will bring significant synergy to the Government's commitment in promoting sports in the community, supporting elite sports, maintaining Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events, enhancing professionalism and developing sports as an industry. It will not only support the comprehensive sports development in Hong Kong, but also stimulate economic development, thereby consolidating Hong Kong's status in the world. The Cultural, Sports and Tourism Bureau will continue to work closely with KTSPL and government departments to ensure the successful completion of the KTSP and its becoming of a new landmark of Hong Kong.
     ‚ÄčThank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Issued at HKT 14:20
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