Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Sports council to take over ‘flying dragon’

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Sports Affairs Council is getting ready to take over the World Games Stadium on Wednesday, Deputy Sports Affairs Council Minister Chen Hsien-chung (陳顯宗) said, adding that a 28-person taskforce will manage the stadium once it is handed over to the council.

The taskforce will also be in charge of giving guided tours of the stadium, he said.

The semi-spiral shaped stadium nicknamed the “flying dragon” was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito and can hold 50,000 spectators.

Construction of the stadium, which cost more than NT$5.2 billion (US$157 million), was funded entirely by the council, although the Kaohsiung City Government oversaw the construction process.

“We are planning to appropriate about NT$80 million from our annual budget to maintain the facility,” Chen said, adding that the exact sum would have to be confirmed at the budget review session of the legislature next month.

The stadium’s upkeep will be a burden, Chen said, and the council might consider having a private contractor take care of it through an operate-transfer model.

When asked if the council had any specific plans for the stadium, Chen said a semi-final round for next year’s East Asia Football Champion, which starts on Aug. 23, would be held at the stadium. Taiwan will play against teams from Hong Kong, Guam and South Korea in the tournament.

Because the stadium has top-notch facilities, including tracks and fields certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, Chen said the council would help the nation’s sports associations’s efforts to host international competitions.

The band May Day (五月天) has also asked about holding a concert in the stadium, Chen said.

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