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HK to invest over $1 billion on long term sports facilities in preparation for 5th EAG

Hong Kong will invest more than $1 billion to build an international standard sports ground and to upgrade existing sports venues and facilities for the enhancement of long term provision of sports facilities in Hong Kong. This is also part of the preparatory work for hosting the 5th East Asian Games (EAG) in 2009.

Speaking before attending the Hong Kong Night held in Macao today (October 30) to promote the staging of the 5th East Asian Games in Hong Kong in 2009, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, said: “The Legislative Council (LegCo) has approved about $300 million to build the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground which, comprising a main sports ground and a secondary sports ground, will be used for the holding of the EAG track and field events and other international athletic events.

“To cater for the holding of various EAG events, we will also carry out enhancement works to more than 10 indoor and outdoor sports venues. Such enhancement works will include thematic designs, renovation works, additional new facilities, as well as installation of facilities for doping control and media centre. The total cost will amount to more than $700 million. The detailed plans and estimates will be submitted to the LegCo soon to seek funding approval,” Dr Ho added.

Noting that an operation cost of $170 million has been approved by the LegCo in 2003, Dr Ho said the Government was reviewing the budget and making adjustment in accordance with projected incomes and expenditures of the Games. The Government will consult the LegCo’s Home Affairs Panel by the end of this year before submitting the proposal to LegCo’s Finance Committee for consideration.

Dr Ho pointed out that an EAG Planning Committee formed with representatives of the sports sector and the community in mid-2004 had already held a number of meetings to give views on publicity, enhancement of sports venues and facilities, financial arrangements as well as community involvement for the East Asian Games in 2009.

He added: “The Sports Commission and its three committees will work closely with the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China and the sports sector to encourage sponsorship from the community and business sector in order to demonstrate the commitment of the Government, sports sector and the community as a whole to host an excellent East Asian Games.

“Through holding the Games, the Government and sports sector will develop a stronger tie and closer cooperation in promoting sports development in Hong Kong and raising the professional standard of our sportsmen.”

Ends/Sunday, October 30, 2005

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