The consortium that operates and runs the Singapore Sports Hub (above) announced yesterday that the public will continue to be able to "Play Free" at their facilities until Aug 17, beyond the original end date that had been set at next Thursday.
Speaking to the media during lunch yesterday, Oon Jin Teik, chief operating officer of SportsHub Pte Ltd, said: "We have received positive feedback from the community, with an average pick-up rate of 90 per cent across the facilities to date.
"With the exception of lawn bowling, which people didn't know about, most of the facilities are being widely used.
"The badminton and basketball courts at the OCBC Arena are especially popular."
The Sports Hub facilities, including the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Water Sports Centre and rock climbing wall at Kallang Wave Mall, will be chargeable only from Aug 18, and can be booked via online, phone and over-the-counter seven days in advance.
The community facilities such as the skate park, exercise and fitness stations, kids' playground, hard courts, beach volleyball courts and lawn bowls will remain free of charge after Aug 17 and can be booked beforehand or enjoyed on the go.
Oon added that the fees will be pegged to community prices, and will be announced on a later date after an agreement has been made with Sport Singapore.
"Singaporeans will be genuinely surprised at the pricing. Our strategy is not even to cover our costs, but to benchmark it to what the public is currently paying at other community facilities," he said.
"We are committed to making sure that the Sports Hub is affordable for all, and look forward to welcoming more visitors to watch, play and make sports part of their daily lives."
The National Stadium's West entrance, or Gate 1, will also be opened every weekend from tomorrow until Aug 17 for the public to access a viewing platform.
"Of course there are areas we can still improve, such as way-finding," said Oon.
"The trick is to ensure the right signs are optimally numbered and located at the right places with well-trained and educated ushers. "We will continue to accept feedback from the public so we can enhance the public's experience."
Sports Hub will be holding a community screening of the National Day Parade "live" on Aug 9 at the OCBC Square.
Said Oon: "We wanted to give something back to the community in celebration of this year's National Day.
"By hosting a mass screening of our beloved National Day Parade, we feel that this is one of the best ways to thank the public for their warm support as we come together and celebrate as a nation."
This article was first published on July 25, 2014.
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