The Singapore government and the Singapore Sports Council have done it again. Spending millions of $$$ to build a magnificent concrete structure, which ends underused and relegated to becoming a great white elephant soon to be forgotten.
At first, there were the nagging problems, with a sandy pitch and leaking roofs. Now, we find out that the management at the Singapore Sports Hub charge by the thousands for a day. According to the news, the Sports Hub asked Singapore Athletics for a massive $620,000 for four days’ rental to hold its regional championships, a sum of $155,000 a day.
Even our national day parade (NDP) has not been spared from the Sports Hub’s money grubbing calculations. They apparently asked MINDEF for $26 million to hold the National Day event. This was for 35 additional days of rehearsals for arguably the nation’s biggest event in a year. This is on top of a clause specified in the Sports Hub’s contract with the Singapore government, which says that the venue is to be provided free of charge for a limited number of days for major events like the NDP.
Perhaps after feeling embarrassed by the sheer insanity of their demands, the Sports Hub decided to trim down this ridiculous amount to a less ridiculous but still crazy $10 million. The NDP is funded using tax money, for your information, and much of this money could probably have gone to feed a starving child or disabled old person.
Granted there are operating and other costs in running and maintaining the stadium, but looking at the poor demand for its services and its prices for events, no wonder event organizers are giving the venue a miss. If this keeps up, what Singaporeans will end up with is another white elephant fiasco, with an unused and derelict Sports Hub becoming an eyesore to the public.
It’s time for the Sports Council and the Sports Hub to figure out how to lower costs into a more acceptable range, or risk becoming obsolete.