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Mar 15, 2016

Isidoro Beaton Stadium Reborn

Belmopan now boasts of another FIFA-certified stadium. The Isidoro Beaton Stadium was launched this afternoon and tonight a first international friendly match will be held to whet the field. Worth well over three million dollars, the stadium is a two-star facility complete with all bells and whistles. It is owned by the Belmopan City Council and is considered the home of the Belmopan Bandits. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was at the opening and has this report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The renovation of the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, a project costing the Government of Belize north of three million dollars, has seen the much needed sprucing up of this sporting facility in Belmopan.  Executed by Belize Infrastructure Limited, the remodeling of the pitch, complete with synthetic grass and professional lighting, is FIFA certified.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Area Representative, Belmopan

“As you may recall a couple years ago, the Cabinet of Belize and the Prime Minister approved some funds, to be exact five million dollars, to be invested in various municipalities in sports infrastructure.  And here in Belmopan we opted to do this stadium and four coverings on four of the basketball courts around Belmopan.”

 

The restoration has seen the football field, as well as the accompanying fixtures meet the basic requirements of FIFA.

 

John Saldivar

“It meets FIFA standards, first of all.  The field itself is a two-star field which is the FIFA standard for all matches, including qualifying FIFA tournaments.  It has lighting standards to FIFA standards also, eight hundred lux and so we will be able to play all FIFA certified matches here on this field.  It has a capacity of a little in excess of a thousand.  For now that is sufficient but obviously in another few years we will need to up the capacity.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you believe that with this particular brand new facility it forces now the F.F.B. to sort of step up its game with regards to their particular field and the lighting and the overall engineering to that facility?”

 

John Saldivar

“Well when we were contemplating that field it was with the view to compliment what the F.F.B. had out at the F.F.B. Stadium so we fully expect that they will continue the upgrade of that stadium for that to also to continue to meet FIFA standards.  It’s grass and so it’s always good to have a synthetic facility to compliment a grass facility and those were the considerations that we had.”

 

Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle says the City Council is thankful to Central Government for making monies available for the facility.

 

Khalid Belisle

Khalid Belisle, Mayor, City of Belmopan

“It is a tremendous accomplishment for the city, like I said in my welcome address, really for the country. We are extremely proud to have this new facility here in Belmopan. It is going to go a long way towards furthering the developing of football in our capital, but we hope that it would have far-reaching impact, spreading out to the rest of the country as well. I was thinking earlier on that we here in Belmopan have the kid’s cup…what we call the mundialito—it’s now called the Simeon Lopez Cup—running. It started a couple of weeks ago and that’s a program targeted at our youngsters. We start from five, six years old and it goes right up to early teens in that cup. It gives them something to aspire to…to be able to come to a pitch like this to see it. I am certain they will be in awe the first time they walk out on to that field, to come here and actually see it. And to have them realize that maybe the dream of playing professional football isn’t really that far away from them because we have facilities like this that will then allow them to better themselves, improve their skills in the sport of football. I’m also happy and we were having a little conversation about it just now that we have the track, so to speak, around the perimeter of the field. Already I have people asking if we will allow them to pay a small membership fee to use it for exercise in the evenings or early in the morning so that they can get off the ring road and come into a safe and secure environment. It’s something that we will look at but tremendous accomplishment for us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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