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Macao needs a big, outdoor venue for shows, say officials

The acknowledgement comes after a noisy K-pop concert at the Olympic Sports Centre stadium angered local residents and caused damage to the pitch.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

The government is exploring options for an open-air arena that will comfortably accommodate large-scale performances and other events, the Macau Post Daily reports. Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong told media that while local resorts offered an array of indoor venues, the SAR “needs” an outdoor space suitable for at least 20,000 people. 

The idea of utilising the defunct canidrome, in northern Macao, as a venue has been floated – but its proximity to a dense residential area is problematic. Ieong said that the open area next to Macau Tower was an option, along with the Cotai’s Macau East Asian Games Dome, though the latter was undergoing drainage and resurfacing works and would not be available for events until next year. It is not yet known whether Taipa’s soon-to-be defunct horse racing track can be converted into a performance space. 

Ieong’s comments came after lawmakers expressed doubts around the SAR’s capacity to host major international events due to a lack of infrastructure and planning expertise. Those qualms were prompted by a recent K-pop concert that damaged turf at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium and upset local residents – sparking a government inquiry.

[See more: Is Macao ready to be a ‘City of Sports and Shows’? Lawmakers have doubts]

Since then, a large section of the stadium’s turf has been replaced. The concert’s organisers covered all costs, according to the Sports Bureau.

Ieong acknowledged that the Olympics Sports Centre Stadium was not an appropriate venue for certain events, particularly those with loud music, lengthy rehearsals and lighting effects – all of which reportedly disturbed nearby residents during the K-pop concert.

Poor traffic management has also been an issue for large-scale events held in Macao.

Ieong also acknowledged the importance of properly vetting both shows and venues for suitability prior to an event’s confirmation, and suggested that a special taskforce could be formed for this purpose.

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