Evaluation Visit to Guam
The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, and CEO, Andrew Minogue, have completed a two day evaluation visit to Guam, one of three countries who have expressed their interest in hosting the 2019 Pacific Games. The evaluation visit included the following elements:
- Meeting with Executive Board of Guam’s Pacific Games Association (GNOC) to whom the Games would be entrusted if Guam is successful;
- Meeting with the Guam Governor, the Hon. Eddie Baza Calvo, together with his Chief of Staff Mark Calvo, Chief Legal Counsel Sandra Miller, and the President/CEO of the Guam Visitors Bureau, Mr Jon Nathan Denight who is the Governor’s point of contact on the Pacific Games project;
- Meeting with the Speaker of the Guam Legislature, the Hon. Benjamin JF Cruz;
- Meeting with Senator Dennis Rodriguez of the Guam Legislature
- Meeting with the Presidents and delegates of the sports proposed for the 2019 program;
- Tour of all the proposed competition venues and the Leo Palace Resort Hotel & Apartments complex, which will house the athletes; and
- A full media conference at the conclusion of the visit.
The PGC delegation was very impressed with all of the elements of the evaluation visit, including the proposed sporting facilities many of which have been built since Guam last hosted the South Pacific Games in 1999, and only require a minimal level of refurbishment to be ready to host the Pacific Games in 2019. There remains a solid core of experienced personnel in the GNOC who delivered the 1999 Games which will aid Guam’s sports federations to deliver a large scale event like the 2019 Pacific Games in a short space of time.
The Governor agreed to fully support and financially underwrite GNOC’s proposed budget for hosting the Games subject to the support of the Guam Legislature which is the responsible body for all fiscal appropriations. The Legislature will in the coming week be approving the budget for the 2018 fiscal year which commences October 1st.
The PGC delegation also requested assurances through the Chief Legal Counsel that the Attorney-General will approve the text for the draft Host Contract, which would, in the event Guam is successful, be signed by the PGC President, the GNOC President and the Governor.
President Lakhan said “Guam has presented a very professional expression of interest to host the 2019 Pacific Games and has demonstrated during our visit that they have the facilities and capability required to deliver a successful Games in a short space of time. The support of the Governor was welcome and we trust that before departing tomorrow morning we receive positive indications from the Legislature that the necessary financial arrangements will be approved in the event that Guam is awarded the Games. This would ensure the stability and certainty that the PGC is seeking in the wake of the Tongan Government’s withdrawal as Games host”.
From here, the President and CEO will be presenting a report to the PGC Executive Board in time for it to make a decision and announcement on the 2019 Pacific Games host at the end of next week. With no Government support evidently forthcoming for the Tahiti PGA’s expression of interest, it cannot be evaluated further.