The age-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is back as a choice of venue for many events in the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by the Philippines late this year.
Organizers have decided to utilize the RMSC in Vito Cruz after they felt a shortage of available venues around Metro Manila.
High rental fees and conflicting schedules with venue owners have reportedly stalled negotiations that officials of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee have been trying to finalize for months.
The situation involving lease agreements and unresolved schedules have also kept organizers of the games from finalizing their calendar early.
Tom Carrasco, senior deputy director general of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, said this after plans to the stage the very popular basketball games at the Mall of Asia Arena scrapped.
Basketball has now been relocated to the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.
Carrasco explained that they can’t book anything at the MOA Arena after venue management only allowed five days in their December calendar as other events were booked ahead of the games.
On the other hand, the PHISGOC gave up on the Araneta Coliseum after they were only given a two-day window in December because of coming concerts that were already booked at the Big Dome way in advance.
There are now plans to have many events played at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Cruz because of this.
The decision to reconsider the RMSC as a venue came after organizers earlier rejected the idea of using the Rizal Memorial area for the games in the first place.
“The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex will now be refurbished for the SEA Games,” said Carrasco.
Men’s football and gymnastics are among the many events that will now be played at the RMSC.
On the other hand, taekwondo has been slated at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Officials of the Philippine Sports Commission are now getting ready to sit down with the PHISGOC on the situations that have been plaguing the staging of the games.
“We are waiting from a notice from them about this,” said Atty. Guillermo Iroy, PSC Executive Director.
Women’s football has been moved a to faraway location--Binan, Laguna.
The volleyball games will now be held at the Philsports in Pasig, while baseball and softball are set in Clark Field, Pampanga.
The search for suitable venues were held after negotiations to have events to be held at the SMEX inside the Mall of Asia grounds and at the Marriot Hotel did not fall through.
A shortage of venues was also felt after organizers could not finalize anything with the venue management of the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
It was reported that the Marriot Hotel was charging around P40 million to have events staged there, which sports officials deemed was too much for just one event.
The 30th SEA Games is considered the biggest sporting spectacle in the region with 56 sports (45 regular and 11 new) to be held in venues across Clark (Pampanga), Subic (Olongapo), Tagaytay (Cavite) and Metro Manila, to be participated in by all member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Majority of the events will be held at the New Clark City.