Sports Guide

The new National Stadium: Designed for the people

By Anjali RaguramanEvents - 11 June 2014 6:17 PM | Updated 06 September 2014

The new National Stadium: Designed for the people

London has the Wembley arena, Munich has the Allianz arena and Beijing has the ‘Bird Nest’ national stadium.

After a brief hiatus, while it was being rebuilt from the ground up, Singapore’s National Stadium is well on its way to joining these global iconic structures come 30 June 2014.


• Just like the old National Stadium (1973-2007), the new stadium will also have a capacity of 55,000 seats

• The entire roof is made of steel plates so thin, that if they are all melted, will form a sheet of only 19mm in thickness

• It will only use 60 per cent of the energy that a fully enclosed stadium with air-conditioning would use

• It takes 20 to 25 minutes for the roof to close

• It is the only stadium in the world that has been custom-designed to hold a cricket match

• The exact positioning for the scattered red and white seats that fill the stadium were based on an algorithm designed by architect firm Arup. “So even if the stadium is filled with just 25,000 people, it will feel like 40,000 people are in there.” - Clive Lewis, stadium designer

The $1.33 billion National Stadium has been 10 years in the making and is the centrepiece in the yet-to-be-opened complex called the Sports Hub, which houses various sports and lifestyle facilities.

Read also: 4 unusual buildings in Singapore

The entire $13 billion project, all housed within a 35-hectare space, is helmed by Singapore Sports Hub's chief operating officer Oon Jin Teik. 

“This project was wholeheartedly designed for Singaporeans.” said Oon, who added that unlike most stadiums around the world which are purpose-built for events such as Olympics or the World Cup, the National Stadium “was not designed for a specific event”.

The team behind the design and execution of the stadium had more practical concerns.

”We’re not the English Premier League or the NFL (National Football League) where you have one sport that dominates every weekend,” Oon said.

See also: The new National Stadium: A first Look

Integrating sports and lifestyle events, the stadium was built to play host to major sports tournaments and concerts, as well as everyday use for the community.

“This project was not designed for major games. It was designed with a 24/7 concept where it will be relevant to Singaporeans,” Oon elaborated.


It is a sports hub in every sense of the word, including the FINA-approved OCBC Aquatic Centre (with a 50m competition pool that can host diving or water polo events) and a promenade on the circumference of the stadium that doubles up as an 888m jogging track.

The OCBC Aquatic Centre will host its first event  the TYR 2nd Southeast Asian Swimming Championships on 14 June 2014. (Photo: Zaki Jufri)

The OCBC Arena, with its six multipurpose halls, can house indoor sports such as floorball and badminton. The roof of the adjoining multi-purpose carpark also comes with basketball courts and skate park, while a beach volleyball court lies in the shadow of the stadium.

The Kallang Wave Mall will provide retail spaces, food and beverage outlets as well as leisure options such as a water park.

The stadium can be converted to three modes (football, athletics and cricket) for spectators to get close to the action. Photo: Zaki Jufri


The stadium boasts many firsts, including the largest free-spanning dome in the world. With a movable roof and retractable seating, the 55,000-seater, state-of-the-art stadium is equipped to be a football, athletics, rugby or cricket venue.

The new National Stadium can also count itself as one of less than five stadiums in the world that can be converted from an athletics stadium to a football arena in less than 48 hours. The Stade de France in Paris takes 80 hours to do the same.

The moving tiers in the stadium allow for the venue to be converted into various configurations, depending on the occasion. For instance, the lowest tier can be moved to within 3.6m of the football pitch for football games.

The architects behind the project wanted “to bring people as close to the action as possible”, lead architect Clive Lewis, from London-based firm Arup, said. The firm was also responsible for the Beijing National Stadium.


It won’t be long before Singaporeans will get to experience the swanky new Sports Hub for themselves.

To kick off the SEA Games countdown, there will be community events at the Sports Hub on 27 and 28 June. Expect fireworks and laser shows, as well as the chance to explore some venues within the Sportshub.

Mark your calendars for 30 June, when the entire hub will be opened to the general public who will be able to book facilities and play in them for free for the first month.

The stadium is already slated to host a slew of events, including the 2015 SEA Games next year (5-16 June 2015). Within the next few months, there is the World Club 10s Rugby (21-22 June), the WTA Tennis Championships, as well as an exhibition match between Italian Serie A champions Juventus and a Singapore selection side on 16 August.

There are also major concerts lined up to warm up the stadium, with Singapore’s own Stefanie Sun’s Kepler World Tour (5 July)and Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou’s Opus II concert (8 November). British boyband One Direction, who will be in Singapore for the first time, are slated to play at the stadium on 11 March 2015.

The quiet district will soon get buzzing again as the epicentre of many high-profile sporting events.

World Club 10s Rugby

World Club 10s Rugby

Date Jun 21, 2014

VenueSingapore Sports Hub

Ticket PriceS$40.00 - S$70.00
 (excludes booking fee)

Jay Chou Opus II Concert (2014)

Jay Chou Opus II Concert (2014)

Date Dec 27, 2014

VenueSingapore Sports Hub

Ticket PriceS$108.00 - S$338.00
 (excludes booking fee)

Stefanie Sun 2014 Kepler World Tour

Stefanie Sun 2014 Kepler World Tour

Date Jul 05, 2014

VenueNational Stadium

Ticket PriceS$98.00 - S$208.00
 (excludes booking fee)