Parliament: Government fines on Sports Hub for unmet standards

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Sports Hub has been fined over unmet standards, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community Baey Yam Keng on Friday (March 6).

The SportsHub Private Limited (SHPL) is the consortium which runs the $1.33 billion facility. It consisted of four partners – Global Spectrum Pico, Dragages Singapore, DTZ Facilities and Engineering and InfraRed Capital Partners, the majority equity partner.

While Mr Baey noted the Sports Hub hosted 212 events last year, he was circumspect in his assessment of its performance during the debate on his ministry’s budget.

Noting the recent acquisition of London-based infrastructure and real estate boutique InfraRed by Canadian insurance group Sun Life, Mr Baey said the Government recently sought clarification from SHPL and “have obtained their assurance that this will not have any direct impact on the Sports Hub operations”.

He added national agency Sport Singapore is in regular communication with the top management and closely monitors performance to ensure agreed standards of availability of facilities and performance are met.

“SHPL is required to meet a minimum number of sporting event days at the National Stadium and Singapore Indoor Stadium each year. Where they have not met the standards, they have been held accountable and financial penalties have been imposed.”

Under the public-private partnership (PPP), the Singapore Government makes annual payments of $193.7 million to SHPL over a period of 25 years starting from 2010, to run the Sports Hub.

Responding to Ms Lee Bee Wah’s (Nee Soon GRC) supplementary question, Mr Baey said: “There is a commercial contract that we have with SHPL. There are deliverables, there are penalties that are part of the contract.

“They have been taken to task over areas that they have not met the KPIs and we are in continuous discussions with them, monitoring their performance and having their assurance that they’re committed to building Sports Hub as what we envisaged

“I’d like to see that Sports Hub will have value for money for Singapore. It is our national sports icon.”

Mr Baey also revealed the local sports industry has contributed $1.7 billion to Singapore’s gross domestic product in 2018, though this excludes growth areas like sports broadcast, infrastructure projects, sports events and conferences, as well as e-sports.

The figure is the first public update on the segment in more than a decade.

The Economic Development Board previously estimated the total was $696 million in 2004.

In 2008, then Community Development, Youth and Sports minister Vivian Balakrishnan set a target for the growing sports industry – a $2 billion annual contribution to the country’s GDP and the creation of 20,000 jobs by 2015.

In remarks made a year later, Dr Balakrishnan said the total had crossed the $1 billion mark in 2007.

The Republic has staged several marquee events in the past decade. These include the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, tennis’ WTA Finals, HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens and International Champions Cup football competition.

The first 11 Singapore F1 races (2008-2018) brought in over $1.4 billion in tourism receipts and more than 490,000 unique international visitors.

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