The new national stadium of Singapore summarizes its first six months in operation. Despite several major issues, the stadium manages to attract crowds and should improve from now.
Opened in July 2014, the Singapore National Stadium, centerpiece of massive Singapore Sports Hub leisure complex, celebrates half a year in operation. During that time it saw 62 significant events which brought 681,000 people to the venue.
The figure isn’t particularly impressive for an entertainment market like Singapore, but at the same time the venue doesn’t operate in optimal mode yet. First months were always meant to be challenging, even if not necessarily as hard as they proved in this case.
The stadium faced severe criticism on a couple issues, most notably its football field. Despite additional lighting it never reached satisfactory levels, even causing changes in the event schedule. Company in charge of the stadium, Sports Hub Pte (SHP), announced in December that it has decided to grow a natural pitch in a nursery familiar with local conditions, and then transport this mature natural turf to the National Stadium in time for the SEA Games in June 2015.
The stadium offers limited sunlight access to the field and the dome is also not perfect for ventilation. This is why an off-site nursery should prepare the grass first.
Another major problem was the leaking roof during recent concert. SHP has conducted a technical investigation that found "a combination of factors resulted in water dripping from the roof at locations not detected previously", it said. "To help limit the impact of adverse weather conditions on future events, we will install additional flashing (rain diverters) on the roof to channel the water more efficiently. This will be completed before the next event at National Stadium."
The progress report also addressed the issue of ticket prices for events held at the venue. "Ticket pricing are solely determined by the event organisers who take into consideration the total costs associated with each event, which may include bringing in teams from abroad, venue rental, marketing, logistics, manpower and other operational requirements. Nevertheless, we are working closely with the event promoters to ensure the affordability of ticket prices to cater to a wide spectrum of customers," it said.