SEA Games’ first goal? Build sporting legacy first, make money later, says official

Date: August 15, 2019

Written By: Dennis Gasgonia

The multi-billion peso investment being pumped into the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will be worth it — both in the short and long terms — the competition's chief organizer said Thursday.

A sprawling New Clark City sports complex in Capas town, Tarlac, is nearing completion, according to its builders, with less than 4 months to go before the competition begins officially on November 30.

The first major sports hub constructed by the national government since the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in 1934, New Clark City houses a 20,000-seat Athletic Stadium, 2,000-seat Aquatic Center, and an Athletes' Village.

The country also earmarked P6 billion for the Games, which will be highlighted by continental-competition level opening ceremony.

All these efforts are geared toward building the country's reputation as a premier sports destination, said Ramon Suzara, chief operating officer of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee.

“The motto here is to help the athletes win medals. The winning agenda here is that all of us will appreciate the Games,” he said.

"We are not doing a SEA Games level of organizing the events, we are doing it as Asian Games level."

According to Suzara, Filipino athletes' success hinges on the amount of money and resources being poured into the Games, which while it may not translate into revenue at once could pay off much later.

“The return of investment will come within 20 years and that will benefit the local people, national athletes, commercial areas also,” Suzara said.

This article first appeared in:   ABS-CBN News

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