The Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS) is an indoor sports arena located at the Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang. A defining feature of the stadium, designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, is the curved, upturned roof typical of Chinese temples. The roof stands at 45 m at its highest point and was raised using the Pantadome system that involved 24 hydraulic hoisting jacks. The SIS occupies a total site area of 54,178 sq m. It can accommodate 4,000 to 12,000 spectators due to flexible configuration that allows its space to be adapted according to the requirements of each event.
Prior to the opening of the SIS, Geylang Indoor Stadium (also known as Gay World Stadium) had been the main indoor facility for sports or entertainment events. In 1971, the Basketball Association of Singapore called for the National Sports Promotion Board (later the Singapore Sports Council and now Sport Singapore) to build a new indoor stadium, due to factors such as the stadium’s ageing infrastructure, lack of ancillary facilities and limited seating capacity. But it was not until 1984 that the Singapore Sports Council received in-principle approval from the Social Affairs Ministry to build a new indoor stadium. The delay was partly due to the high cost involved.
Construction of the indoor stadium began on 28 December 1987, with the ground-breaking ceremony officiated by then Minister for Community Development Wong Kan Seng, and was completed two weeks ahead of schedule in November 1989. The stadium itself cost S$68.1 million to build, while the carpark, landscaping and other supporting infrastructure cost another S$22.1 million, bringing the total cost to around S$90 million. The project was funded by Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, with local architecture firm Raglan Squire and Partners and Japanese firm Kenzo Tange Associates appointed as consultants. The SIS was officially declared opened by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 31 December 1989. The occasion was marked with a musical extravaganza called “My Country My Singapore”, which also launched Singapore’s 25th National Day celebrations in 1990.
The SIS has since hosted many events. These include sports events such as the annual Singapore Open (badminton), 1997 Heineken Open Singapore (tennis), and 2011 World Netball Championships. It was also the venue for the opening ceremony of the inaugural 2009 Asian Youth Games. The SIS was also the concert venue for contemporary music acts such as Elton John (2001), Tina Turner (1996), Red Hot Chilli Peppers (2002) and Taylor Swift (2015). Numerous cultural and communal events have also been held at the SIS, including the first-ever indoor Chingay festival in 1997.
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4. Fact file of the 12,000 seater. (1989. December 2). The Straits Times, p. 35. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Sports Hub, n.d.
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6. Ministry approves $45 m indoor stadium. (1984. October 20). The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Koh, T. (1977, September 4). Build an indoor stadium, BAS. New Nation, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Dorai, J. (1987, December 29). Construction work starts on $68m indoor stadium. The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; The Straits Times, 1 Mar 1989, p. 39.
9. Khoo, P. (1989, December 31). Indoor stadium idea mooted 18 years ago. The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1989, p. 12; Why foreign consultant was chosen for indoor stadium. (1985, November 6). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Why we decided on Kenzo Tange – SSC. (1985, October 5). The Straits Times, p. 22. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Ong, S. C. (1989, December 31). Stage set for musical extravaganza. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
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13. Lim, L. (2009, June 30). Pure energy. The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Raymond, J. (2001, October 8). Elton John for S’pore. Today, p. 3; Proud Tina to rock up a storm. (1996, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 22; Wee, T. (2002, November 5). Red Hot gig heading this way. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Taylor Swift heading for Singapore with 1989 World Tour. (2015, June 24). Today. Retrieved from Factiva.
15. Wong, C. M. (1997, February 16). The first indoor Chingay show a huge success. The Straits Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at Oct 2015 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.