After six years of construction and at a cost of S$1.3 billion, the Singapore Sports Hub finally opened its doors in June. The 35-hectare complex is filled with athletic venues, public spaces and a sports-themed mall — Kallang Wave.
A 55,000-seat National Stadium is the centrepiece of the Hub and features a retractable roof and an innovative air-cooling system — a relief in Singapore’s tropical climate. The roof spans 310 metres at its widest point and is the largest free-spanning dome structure ever built. The engineering marvel can host a plethora of athletic events such as football, rugby and cricket due to its flexible interior layout.
Other sporting venues include the OCBC Arena, which seats up to 3,000 and can host badminton, basketball, netball and volleyball. A 6,000-seat aquatic centre boasts a three-metre deep Olympic pool and a five-metre deep international standard diving pool. To round out the water sports, is a ‘Splash-N-Surf’ facility with waterslides and a wave pool for surfing and skim boarding.
Those looking to participate rather than spectate are spoiled for choice. The shores of the Kallang river are host to sandy beach volleyball courts and a field hockey pitch. Head to Level Three which houses lawn bowling, hard courts for basketball and netball and a skate park. There’s even a giant chess board if you want to show your mental prowess. While most of these activities are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, some require advance booking.
Kallang Wave has a number of stores dedicated to running gear. Amusingly, even the supermarket and fashion stores like H&M are sports-oriented and carry plenty of athletic gear. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, take a seat at one of the cafes or restaurants, then check out the towering rock wall which has 1,000 square metres of climbing surfaces.
Construction was finished in stages and to date, the Hub has already hosted the World Club 10s rugby and is slated to host the 2015 Southeast Asian Games along with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) championships for the next five years.
The Singapore Sports Hub was worth the wait. Not only are the facilities outstanding, the setting on the banks of the Kallang river makes it a particularly pleasant place to hang out.
How to get there
Nearest MRT: Stadium, Mountbatten, Kallang
By Fen Chia
Last updated on 15th November, 2014.