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LCQ6: Kai Tak Sports Park
     Following is a question by the Hon Yang Wing-kit and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Raistlin Lau, in the Legislative Council today (May 22):
     The Government has indicated that the Kai Tak Sports Park (KTSP) will open in the first half of next year, and will host eight events of the 15th ‍National Games including Fencing, Men's Handball, Rugby Sevens and Bowling. In addition, it has been reported that the Hong Kong Sevens will also be moved to stage at the KTSP next year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows if there will be other major sports events and large-‍scale cultural and entertainment events such as concerts and variety shows staging at the KTSP next year; if there will be, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) whether the authorities will request the operator of the KTSP to discuss with the Transport Department the transport arrangements to be made during the staging of major sports events next year, including the provision of fare-paying tour coaches to transport spectators to and from nearby MTR stations, the introduction of more bus routes to and from the KTSP, and the construction of a smart car park at an adjacent site to divert the flow of spectators; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether it will produce pamphlets to recommend to spectators attending matches at the KTSP the neighbouring attractions such as those for food and entertainment, so as to provide them with better leisure experiences; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
     Occupying an area of about 28 hectares and 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 sports policies of 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. 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. The Contracted Party operates on a self-financing basis and is required to make fixed payments to the Government on a regular basis and share a percentage of its total income with the Government.
     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 Yang Wing-kit is as follows:
     Currently, the main structure of the Public Sports Ground, the Indoor Sports Centre and the Main Stadium have been largely completed. According to the current construction progress, we expect that the major facilities of the KTSP will be completed by end of 2024. Upon successful implementation of the test events and satisfactory completion of various testing, the KTSP will be open in the first half of 2025. To better prepare for the opening, we are working with KTSPL on the pre-commissioning arrangements, including the close monitoring of work progress, the preparation for test events as well as the testing of facilities such as scoring, public address and lighting systems of various venues. We will also, in collaboration with KTSPL and relevant departments, arrange for various trials to fine-tune and enhance the operation model and various arrangements when staging large-scale events.
     In terms of event arrangements, KTSPL has been liaising closely with different government departments and relevant stakeholders, including "national sports associations", representatives of the sports sector, entertainment and performance industry, to understand more about their needs and interests towards the facilities of the KTSP. KTSPL also proactively reaches out to and follows up with organisations that are interested in organising events in the KTSP, with a view to jointly promoting the KTSP as "the destination" for local and international large-scale sports and entertainment events as well as adding more vibrancy to Hong Kong as an events capital.
     KTSPL has so far made contact with over 200 local and international sports and non-sports events' promotion bodies, organisations and agencies, among which around 50 of them have expressed interest in utilising the facilities at the KTSP and are learning about the leasing arrangements. Such discussion, involving commercial negotiations, is still ongoing. Generally speaking, the promotion strategy of events is led by organisers whereas KTSPL, being the venue provider, has to act in concert with the plans of the event organisers. KTSPL cannot disclose details of the events before the organisers do so in accordance with the lease agreements. We trust that event organisers will take into account their overall promotion strategy and share more details of their events with the public in due course.
     As regards transportation arrangements, the KTSP is located at the core of the Kai Tak Development Area with diversified, efficient and convenient transportation facilities. It is in proximity to Kai Tak Station and Sung Wong Toi Station of the MTR with about 10 to 15 minutes' walking distance from both stations. Apart from using the convenient railway network to travel to or from the KTSP, the public can also take a number of bus routes at nearby bus stops connecting to various districts in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories. Apart from the supporting facilities such as taxi stands and more than 800 parking spaces in the precinct, the shopping malls near the KTSP also provide ancillary facilities such as car park for public use, meeting the travelling needs of the public in different modes. During the staging of large-scale events, we will closely liaise with KTSPL, relevant departments (including Hong Kong Police Force and the Transport Department) and transport operators as early as possible. Depending on the scale of the events and the needs of the visitors, we will deploy contingency measures such as strengthening railway services and arranging special services to meet the additional traffic demand during the event period. We will also test the effectiveness of relevant transportation arrangements when the test events are staged so that we can adjust relevant strategies as necessary to improve response efficiency.
     On improving the experience of visitors to the KTSP, the precinct offers various kinds of catering facilities, including some 70 outlets of international cuisines, mobile catering booths that can be flexibly arranged according to the scale and needs of the events as well as nine diversified concept restaurants at the Dining Cove for citizens and tourists to dine in the indoor or outdoor areas. 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 and tourists 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. The mobile app to be developed by KTSPL will provide visitors with one-stop services, including promotion information on leisure and catering options as well as various events. We will continue to work closely with KTSPL to further enhance visitors' experience as well as liaise with relevant departments and the Hong Kong Tourism Board to promote the leisure and catering options in the vicinity of the KTSP so as to create a synergy effect for bringing about local economic development.
     With concerted efforts of various participating departments and units, the construction of the KTSP has entered its final stage. We believe that Hong Kong citizens, like us, are eagerly anticipating the completion and opening of the KTSP. The KTSP will bring about significant synergy to the development of Hong Kong. While 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, the KTSP will also drive the development of related industries such as entertainment, performances and tourism. The Cultural, Sports and Tourism Bureau will continue to work closely with KTSPL and various government departments. An inter-departmental working group led by the Chief Secretary for Administration will also be set up to co-ordinate relevant work with a view to ensuring the successful completion and commissioning of the KTSP, thereby creating a new landmark of Hong Kong. Thank you President.
Ends/Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Issued at HKT 15:55
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