Sports Hub will get pitch right

Consortium aims to rectify National Stadium pitch issue in time for Brazil-Japan game

The majority of the 27,388 fans who watched the Singapore Selection take on Italian giants Juventus at the National Stadium last Saturday were in awe of the new facility.

The only major drawback was the state of the pitch, with its sandy patches, which Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said was the reason he did field star striker Carlos Tevez.

While the hybrid pitch needs time to mature, the Singapore Sports Hub will work to improve the surface for the next game at the stadium - Brazil's glamour international friendly with Japan on Oct 14.

Gregory Gillin, senior director of stadia, Singapore Sports Hub, said the feedback from fans had been noted.

"For Saturday's game, the pitch was 100 per cent safe and provided a steady surface for the players," he told The New Paper yesterday.

"This was demonstrated during the training sessions and throughout the match by the players having stable conditions under foot, which allowed them freedom of movement across the surface.

"As with any new stadium, we expect teething problems as we continue to ramp up operations, and are concurrently evaluating what additional measures we need to implement to achieve an elite playing surface that meets the needs of our multi-purpose calendar."

Oon Jin Teik, chief operating officer of the Sports Hub, highlighted the importance of Singapore football returning to its home at the National Stadium - the first time in five years - and to hear the Kallang Roar again.

"For all parties involved, the Juventus vs Singapore Selection football game represented many months and years of hard work in attracting some of the world's biggest sports and entertainment stars to Singapore," he added.

"In these early days of the Singapore Sports Hub, the smooth delivery of the event was also the collective success of our passionate members of staff across several complex aspects of operations - from venue management and catering services to crowd management and efficient crowd dispersal of a large audience via various modes of transport.

"While we celebrate the success of the event, we also embrace feedback on areas for improvement and look forward to applying these learnings to our many events to come."

This article was first published on August 19, 2014.
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