Revamped HK Stadium can host smaller events: govt

Sports Commissioner Yeung Tak-keung says the Hong Kong Stadium will still have a role to play even after major events such as the Rugby Sevens move to the future Kai Tak Sports Park.

The government revealed in a paper to Wan Chai District Council that it would slash the seating capacity of the stadium in Causeway Bay from 40,000 to 9,000, while adding an athletics track around the pitch.

Yeung told RTHK on Tuesday that the revamped stadium will hold smaller events such as inter-school athletic meets, as well as local and regional football matches.

Major events, such as the Rugby Sevens and international football matches, will move to the Kai Tak Sports Park after its completion in 2023, he added.

“We consider that by 2023, 2024, in Hong Kong we do not need two big stadiums of similar capacity,” said Yeung.

“We can have top-level events at Kai Tak and other tiers of events in Hong Kong Stadium as well as in Tseung Kwan O, Mong Kok stadiums et cetera, so there will be a clear division of work among the different facilities.”

Yeung said the Hong Kong Stadium will help local sports development by allowing events of different scales to take place.

“For example, at the moment some football clubs or the Football Association want to play some football matches at the Hong Kong Stadium, but they think they may not attract over 10,000 spectators or they would consider that the gate receipts may not be able to cover the cost,” he said, adding that the rental cost of the stadium will be lower after the revamp.

The government also suggested adding other facilities at the stadium, including a media room, changing facilities and more parking spaces.

“The current facilities at the Hong Kong Stadium are not up to current standards for hosting international football matches,” Yeung said.

He said a technical feasibility study on the plan will be conducted in the coming year and the government hopes to start rebuilding the stadium after the sports park opens.