Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors yesterday accused the Taipei City Government of having no intention to use the Taipei Dome for competitions during the 2017 Summer Universiade, questioning the purpose of the Taipei Dome construction project, which was designed as a indoor baseball stadium to promote baseball and other sports.
The Taipei Dome project, a 500,000m2 commercial complex in downtown Xinyi District (信義) that would include a 40,000-seat indoor stadium, was expected to be a major venue for the Summer Universiade in 2017.
However, the dome was not included on the competition venue list, and Taipei City’s Department of Sports plans to use the dome for opening and closing ceremonies instead.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-feng (李慶鋒) and Taiwan Solidarity Union Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) yesterday questioned the city government’s plan, urging the department to use the dome for sports events.
“Taipei Dome is built to become one of the nation’s biggest baseball stadiums, and it is ridiculous that it will not be the venue for baseball competitions in the Summer Universiade. What would Taipei Dome be used for if it cannot serve as a venue for international baseball games?” Lee said at a press conference at the Taipei City Council.
Citing the example of the recent Olympics Games and previous Summer Universiades, Chen said venues for opening and closing ceremonies in international sports events have also been used to hold competitions, while questioning the preparation of the international sports event.
“The Fukuoka Dome was used to hold baseball competitions during the Universiade in 1995 in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies. The city government’s promise in building the Taipei Dome as a professional stadium would not be very persuasive if it cannot be used as a multifunctional venue,” he said.
The Taipei Dome project began construction last year after long-term protests against the project amid concerns on its environmental impact.
Farglory Group, the developer, signed a contract with the city government in 2005 and planned to invest more than NT$23 billion (US$700 million) in the complex at the abandoned Songshan Tobacco Factory on Zhongxiao E Road, and promised to build a professional indoor baseball stadium with at least 40,000 seats.
Deputy commissioner of the department Ding Ruo-ting (丁若亭) said the department has not yet made a decision on the venue for baseball competitions and opening and closing ceremonies, and the preparatory committee will make a final decision after discussing the issues with the International University Sports Federation.
“The Taipei Dome could definitely be used to hold baseball competitions, and we did not finalize the arrangements on venues for competitions yet,” he said.