Sports Minister outlines development plans for sports venues

The Ministry of Sports has been rapped recently with regard to the length of time needed to complete several major upgrades to stadia and venues in Belize City that are used for multiple purposes. Among these are the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, the Belize City Centre, the proposed stadium for basketball on Chetumal Boulevard, and the MCC Grounds. Sports Minister Herman Longsworth told us that in regard to the Berger Field on Vernon Street, there has been a change of plans, and that the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and FIFA will now be involved in the development of that ground.

Herman Longsworth – Sports Minister:

vlcsnap-2013-08-06-12h46m01s198It was delayed a bit  by me, to be honest with you.  I was a bit busy and I had to approve certain things.  Because of that delay the FFB and FIFA have now, in principle, come on board, and we will be expanding what goes on there very shortly.  I plan to meet with the President of the FFB.  I expect FFB and FIFA to put considerably more money into that project.  We will start very soon.

The MCC is also scheduled for redevelopment, and according to the Minister the Government is not prepared to give up control of it and other stadia to the FFB as proposed by FIFA.

Herman Longsworth – Sports Minister:

I’m absolutely not entertaining the transfer of MCC to anybody.  MCC is the property of the people of Belize and it will remain the property of the people of Belize.  We are already in the process of starting to develop MCC as a Government, and we will continue to develop it as the funds become available.  We will make MCC into the facility it ought to be.  We’ll continue to maintain ownership of the MCC.

Finally the work on Marion Jones, the Civic and the Chetumal Boulevard Stadium proceed apace under different contractors.

Herman Longsworth – Sports Minister:

I invite you to take a walk over to the Marion Jones Facility and see what is happening there.  The facility is progressing, in my opinion, very nicely.  I am still hoping to have it available to the public by the end of the year, like I’ve been saying for some time now.  It’s still looking like we can open to the public by the end of this year.

The Centre is going to be a project that is financed by BIL, Belize Investment Limited.  We’ve only had our first meeting.  We put applications out for people to come on board as the administrative staff.  As soon as we have that in place the company will be moving.  The first project for them to start will be the Civic Centre project.  I believe that by January the civic centre should be on its way. 

[Chetumal Boulevard Stadium] is a completely different project that is being financed by the CDB, and that will happen.

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