IN FOCUS INTERVIEW WITH THE EDITOR:
In Focus: Damian Bush, Managing Director, Singapore Sports Hub
You’ve been involved with the Singapore Sports Hub project since the beginning. What have been your highlights of the journey so far?
We have a pretty versatile site, and there have been many incredible moments over the years.
Regionally, the Southeast Asian Games in the summer of 2015 was fantastic because we were using every facility inside the venue. Eleven countries competed, with huge national and regional interest and over 1.3 million people attending across the six-week period of competition. Locally, the NDP in 2016 was incredible, with 50,000 people joining the previews.
High profile events like the WTA Tennis at the Indoor Stadium which ran for five years and the International Champions Cup, bringing world-famous athletes and teams to Singapore, are amazing. Coldplay brought in 104,000 people over their two shows, 35% of which were visitors to Singapore, driving inbound tourism to the country.
When BTS came through for their shows, the planning was phenomenal. We spoke with the band’s management and other venues who had hosted them to learn from their experiences. We, in turn, have since spoken to the team at Wembley Stadium to share our own insights. Thousands of people planned to arrive early - for these fans the whole day is an experience and they want to take in the merchandise and photo opportunities before the performance. That event took maybe eight or nine months of planning with many stakeholders, and it’s so rewarding to get great feedback from those who came along and those who performed.
On a mass scale like this, event organisers can learn from and develop the best possible experiences for the audience and performers by sharing experiences. This all leads to building a strong foundation for our venue to encourage world-class performers to add us to the calendar.
One of your career highlights came in 2012 as the Central London Venue Lead for the Olympics. How was that experience and what were the biggest takeaways that have helped you in your current role?
For the London Olympics I was concentrated around St. James’s Park and The Mall, which took me into a different level of stakeholder engagement with senior representatives from the private and public sectors and those representing the Royal family. The Foreign Office became a key partner in Whitehall to navigate the system and deliver on those plans.
brought in 104,000 people over their two shows, 35% of which were visitors to Singapore, driving inbound tourism to the country.