Another Stadium But Sports Arrivals Are Disappointing
Prior to Port Moresby's hostings of the Pacific Games in 2015 there was a bold prediction that the sporting facilities that were being constructed would pave way for an increase in arrivals for sports events
Prior to Port Moresby’s hostings of the Pacific Games in 2015 there was a bold prediction that the sporting facilities that were being constructed would pave way for an increase in arrivals for sports events purposes. More specifically, the sporting infrastructure would boost the numbers for sports tourism. Just over 5 years has passed and it’s fair to say, the numbers have been nothing but disappointing. So it makes one wonder why another sports stadium which was to have been completed in time for the Pacific Games (and wasn’t) is still being constructed. It’s a little late now, but it’s concerning.
Unless the authorities have alternative strategies to utilize the under construction Sir Hubert Murray Stadium to bring in more visitors and generate revenue, it will eat up more money in maintenance and succumb to other the inevitable.
Let’s face it – local clubs can’t use them. They don’t have the money to hire these facilities.
One would think that the Sir John Guise Stadium and the National Football Stadium are big enough to cater for many of the sports events PNG is capable of hosting. Adding another one does nothing more than chew up money and take up prime land space.
Even the current stadiums are often left idle. Since the Pacific Games and the Women’s Under 20 FIFA World there has really been no other event that’s contributed in a significant way to bring fans through the turnstile. Stadiums need events to bring in the revenue. Otherwise, they sit idle and become a real liability particularly when huge sums of money are required to maintain them.
The numbers provided by the PNG Tourism Authority indicate that visitor arrival numbers for sports reasons have averaged 940 over the last 5 years. That is hardly a promising sign considering Sir Hubert Murray Stadium is nearing completion and that there are no major scheduled events planned to make use of these facilities.
Even more concerning is that all three stadiums are really no different from each other in that they are triangular in shape and limited to hosting of certain types of sports. Sports like rugby, rugby league and soccer are suited to these three stadiums. That leaves sports like Cricket which typically use oval shaped stadiums.
And cricket is undoubtedly one of PNG’s most successful sports. In fact, Cricket has more tours around the world than any other sport in the country so their chances of bringing in more cricket matches is significantly higher than the other sports that use “traingular” shaped stadiums.
Let’s face it – this new stadium being built isn’t really going to be used by the local clubs or sports associations. It’s too expensive for them to hire. The
The average of having 940 arrivals for sports reasons over the last 5 years is disappointing. But if you consider the fact that FIFA, Pacific Games and on a smaller scale Rugby League World Cup, had much to do with “boosting” this average, imagine the next 5 years where no major events are scheduled.