|TNP broke the "5 stadiums" story on 20th March 2013|
I am pretty sure it did, when The New Paper (TNP, pictured above) reported that five football-specific stadiums will be incorporated in the five Regional Sports Centres (RSC) around the island under the Singapore Sports Council's (SSC) 20-year master plan.
As a matter of fact, something similar to these proposed five stadiums were also mentioned in the "Strategic Plan" (pictured below) alongside with the NTC (National Training Centre) that are hardly being updated on their status progress, as compared to those achievements of the youth development and tied-up with other FAs in accordance to the "Plan".
|Something similar to "The 5 stadiums" proposal|
Although the idea of co-sharing the stadiums among the S.League clubs as proposed in TNP report did not get many that excited, with possibility of housing more than two different club offices under the same roof that could cause some "inconveniences".
Some projected issues would be the redrawing of catchment areas for fan base of each S.League club and willingness of supporters to travel "a bit further" to their "home" game at "designated" stadium (i.e.: will Tanjong Pagar fans travel to their "home games" in Jurong, should one of the "five stadiums" is to be located?).
|No doubt Hougang Utd fans will travel to their heroes go (file picture)|
Thus, if clubs had already rooted themselves to vicinities they based, they shouldn't worry their faithfuls would not travel a bit more to see their team in action (like in overseas, where some fans travelled almost one hour or so to their "home" games in suburban areas).
Unfortunately, for those who voiced their opposition to this proposal did not go further to explain their reasons other than labelled it with those unsavoury terms when I first posted the snapshot (pictured below) on the blog's Facebook page.
|Some thoughts were shared on the proposal|
While, some asked if the land scarcity or the recently announced "Population White Papers" had something to do with formulation of the proposal?
May or may not that the recent announcement of the "White Papers" could be the weighting factors, but cast those suggestions aside, I wondered if some of us overlooked another crucial factor - the possibility of staging Asian Champions League (ACL) games? (as singled out during a chat with a friend who pointed it out)
|Bishan Stadium saw Burmese fans in full force in last year's AFC Cup|
With a capacity that could be between 5,000 to 20,000 seats for the each of these proposed "football-specific" grounds, hasn't that met the minimum capacity requirement demanded by AFC for staging those continental club tournaments?
So what it does need now too is what highlighted by Tampines Rovers chairman Mr Teo Hock Seng in the TNP report to have "the facilities complies 100 per cent with FIFA guidelines".
|Details extracted from the AFC website (Chapter 6, section 33)|
Still, I would like to add that unless the average attendances at S.League matches and the clubs' commercial activities finally take off to ensure the sustainability to running costs of the grounds, don't be surprise that SSC might rent out them for some non-football activities to balance the books.
At the meantime, let us just wait and see what are in store for football fans in years to come.