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May 13, 2009

Bidding for upgrade of Marion Jones Sporting Complex underway

Story PictureSporting activities which used to take place at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex on Princess Margaret Drive have been diverted to other stadiums or even to the city streets since refurbishment of the facility has been slow to get off the ground. Both male and female cycling classics which would have once ended with final laps around the track amidst cheering spectators in the bleachers are now events that now come to a halt on Princess Margaret Drive. The Governments of Taiwan and Venezuela had granted money for the upgrade of the stadium but the work was never completed. Yesterday, the National Sports Council commented on Belize’s ouster from the CONCACAF Championship League, and the Executive Director also fielded questions about the future of what should be Belize’s premiere sporting facility. Anthony Michael, the previous deputy mayor, has been on the job for only a month and a half, and he says that the Council as well as the Ministry of Sports are working to transform the Marion Jones Sporting Complex into a first class facility.

Anthony Michael, Executive Director, National Sports Council
“The Marion Jones project is almost completed. The drawings and the bill of quantities and that stuff by the consultant; that should be given to the ministry and the National Sports Council very, very shortly. Once that is committed, I think the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Sports has issued a request saying bids will be forwarded out the public for tender and for approval by the Ministry. That should be completed in the near future. As soon as that is completed, I rest assure Belizean people you will see the formal construction and the renovation of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, which will entail again a FIFA qualified international field. And it will also be included a cycling track, a running track, a proper synthetic track, not what is out there presently which the money was sent there and all that stuff and it did not materialize. That’s the fruit of what is out there. But a properly well designed stadium will be done. And all this will have proper dressing room facility and everything else. So if you go around, you will see the stadiums being upgraded, you will see the stadiums being painted, you will see the stadiums being cleaned. At the Roger’s stadium for softball, you have the dugout have been totally refurbished in terms of new bathroom facilities, painting proper facility. We are fixing up these playing areas. We are presently looking at fixing up the football field at the M.C.C .and also the tennis court beside the M.C.C. We are looking at upgrading those facilities, resurfacing and bringing back all these sports.”

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