Artificial turf for National Stadium still an option: Lawrence Wong

Laying an artificial turf on the National Stadium pitch may still be an option in the future, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong in Parliament today (Jan 29).

Mr Wong was responding to non-constituency MP Gerald Giam's questions on the costs involved in replacing the 55,000-capacity arena's hybrid Desso GrassMaster pitch to a natural lay-and-play solution.

Mr Wong said: "SHPL (Sports Hub Pte Ltd) did an extensive review of all the options, including an artificial turf and the reason why it was ruled out is that, not withstanding what the member said about artificial turf gaining popularity around the world, there are still many top teams in football and rugby that will not play in an artificial pitch.

"The situation will change because artificial pitch is getting better, the technology is getting better, and acceptance is growing. So we are not ruling out completely, SHPL will continue to monitor and continue to assess whether this can be an option in the future."

He said that SHPL had "already made a public commitment" not to pass the costs to consumers or event organisers, and added the national sport agency Sport Singapore will ensure that the commitment is upheld.

The new turf will be grown at a nursery before being laid out in the National Stadium before Singapore hosts the 28th South-east Asia Games from June 5 to 16.

Read the full report in our print edition on Jan 30. 

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