PNG Sports Venues out of reach

PORT MORESBY,15 OCTOBER 2015 ( THE NATIONAL) ----PORT Moresby Rugby League chairman Dr James Naipao says the charges for the use of the city’s main sports stadiums are out of the reach for local sports associations.

He claimed that the Sir John Guise Stadium was the most expensive stadium in the country to hire at the moment. Naipao warned that the country’s Pacific Games venues would lie idle for most of the year and local sportsmen and women would not benefit from the use of the new facility despite guarantees by the State that the people’s venues would be accessible.

The former Kumul called on the body entrusted to maintain and manage the state properties, the National Sports Trust, to levy reasonable and affordable charges.

The NSTL oversees the Bisini sports grounds, Taurama Aquatic Centre, Sir John Guise Stadium and indoor complex and the Rita Flynn Netball Complex.

Naipao said it was frustrating for his competition to be using a venue like the Murray Barracks when they could use a world class stadium.

He branded the hire rates for the Sir John Guise Stadium as excessive and biased toward sporting bodies like the PNG Rugby Football League and the PNG NRL, thatstaged the PNG Hunters and Melanesian Cup matches as well as the also PNG National Rugby League Digicel Cup grand final there.

“The hire charges of K20,000 to K120,000 and a security fee of K70,000 plus a percentage of the gate is unacceptable and has automatically denied sports any chance because who can afford these amounts?” Naipao said.

“It costs so much to hire the venue that even if you get a good crowd in, most of your gate takings have already been wiped out by operational costs. It’s ridiculous.”

Last Saturday the Melanesian Cup Club championship clash between the Agmark Gurias and the Sabeto Roosters failed to attract a crowd of note with estimates by on ground staff at just over 1000.

“I’m just wondering how the organisers got a return on their effort. It’s doubtful whether they made any money at all judging by the poor turnout.”

Naipao said he understood the venue managers needed to safeguard the venues as well as generate revenue for its sustainability but the state through the relevant body needed to come up with a solution that would benefit all stakeholders.

The Fairfax 9s tournament which was hoping to use the Sir John Guise Stadium this week had to find a cheaper alternative after it failed to negotiate an affordable amount for its five-day event.

The NCD Volleyball Association was charged K4500 to play its grand final at the Taurama Aquatic Centre on Saturday.

“It makes no sense that the government who funded the construction of the venues for the people is now making it so that those venues will not be used by the people it was intended for.”....PACNEWS


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