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Ho Chi Minh City sports hub project lies dormant for 2 decades

Sunday, July 12, 2015, 10:35 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City sports hub project lies dormant for 2 decades
An excavator is seen digging soil to build a road at the Rach Chiec sports complex in Ho Chi Minh City.

A lack of funds has led to the decades-long delay of a proposal to build a major sports hub in Ho Chi Minh City that was intended to be a destination for international tournaments.

The Rach Chiec sports complex project in District 2 had been on paper for 21 years before city authorities said in a long-term new plan recently that relevant agencies have five more years to complete the project.

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City demanded that the development of Rach Chiec be finished by 2020.

According to the proposal prepared in 1994, the Rach Chiec complex would be situated on an area of 466 hectares, including different facilities such as a 50,000 seat stadium, a track and field area, a swimming pool, and a recreational park.

It was originally meant to be qualified for hosting major international sports tournaments.

Now after 21 years, the complex has been scaled down to 180.73 hectares.

The only component of the proposed sports hub that has ever been built is the one-kilometer-long road leading to Hanoi Highway, a big road that connects Ho Chi Minh City to the central and northern regions.

The 80m-wide road costs VND260 billion (US$12 million) and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports said it will launch a design contest for the complex from August till December this year before submitting the final design of the whole sports hub to the People’s Committee in September next year.

To prepare for its construction, the municipal committee has tasked the People’s Committee of District 2 with site clearance and the Department of Culture and Sports with the building work.

Nguyen Hung, vice director of the sports department, said the biggest problem is that the city has no fund for implementing the project.

“If site clearance had been prepared in 2007, it would have cost just over VND450 billion [$20.7 million].

“Now it is around VND5 trillion [$230 million],” Hung said.

Managers of the Rach Chiec complex have negotiated with the Vietnam Sports Platform Korea for the construction of an indoor mountain biking park at a cost of $150-200 million.

J-Code Corporation of Japan has also expressed their wish to build infrastructure for the complex, Hung added.

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