Dear A.S.S. Editor

Another blow to the Singapore Sports Hub, as reports have emerged that the most successful event staged at the New National Stadium, the Barclays Asia Premier League Trophy, will not be coming back to Singapore this year. Instead, they will move back to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hong Kong had previously hosted the event three times, although the last one in 2013 causing some embarrassment for the hosts after the Hong Kong Stadium’s rained-soaked pitch came under fire from team managers.

This despite a successful run here in Singapore in 2015 that saw a record turnout of 82,000 fans, with Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore hailing the 2015 event as the “best ever”. The match between Arsenal and Everton at the National Stadium drew 52,100 fans, which was the biggest single match-day attendance in the history of the tournament, and eclipsed the previous record of 49,700 in Bangkok, while the total attendance of 82,000 over the two match days is the largest to date, beating Hong Kong’s attendance of 76,300 in 2007.

This will represent another blow to the Singapore Sports Hub and its consortium, which had promised Singapore fans to bring the best sporting spectacle to the stadium. The consortium is currently in negotiations to bring the International Champions Cup (ICC) to Singapore to fill the gap. Hopefully, they can bring in some other top football teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Taufiq Rahman

A.S.S. Contributor

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