CONCACAF officials inspect Ambergris Stadium
Thursday, September 1st, 2016
The state-of-the-art design of the Ambergris Stadium will no doubt transform the professionalism of sports on the island. With the stadium in its final stage of completion, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) official Development Officer Rodrigo Kenton, along with Football Federation of Belize Technical Director Renan Cowo, led an inspection of the multi-purpose stadium on Friday, August 27th. Guiding the officials were the San Pedro Town’s Council’s Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor in Charge of Sports Hector Alamilla, Property Tax Clerk Wilbert Magana, and Sports Coordinator Kent Bob Gabrouel.
The purpose of the inspection was for the officials to examine the sporting complex, and see if they could help with further recommendations to assist development of football, not only on the island, but throughout the country. After evaluating around and inside the stadium, officials gave their feedback.
Although Kenton only visits two to three times per year in Belize, he is very pleased with the growth of San Pedro’s stadium. “I know football in Belize will make a big jump, and I’m positively impressed with the stadium. Now, we also have hope that FIFA will hire an official that will participate in all sporting events,” said Kenton.
Cowo is no stranger to Belize and he shares the same views as Kenton. “I think this is a big advancement for the island. The most important thing here is youth, and their talent,” said Cowo.
Mayor Guerrero was also very pleased. “I’m extremely content to see the progress of the stadium. I think they are on time, and I know this will be good for San Pedro. The spirit of sports is in the country, and the government has invested to make this possible. I would like to thank Prime Minister Dean Barrow for providing the funds. We also have to enjoy it, protect it, and have pride,” said Mayor Guerrero.
The multi-purpose stadium, which replaces natural grass with synthetic grass, will come equipped with a regulation pitch, locker facilities, concession stands, bathroom facilities, and a storage unit. It will also be suitable for various sports, including: softball, running, track and field, and newly added, basketball.
Although there were some speculations about changes in the design plan, Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) General Manager Christy Mastry, confirmed that no changes were made in the actual design plan. However, they made additional enhancements to the stadium, such as adding a basketball court facility, to better accommodate the multi-purpose sporting arena.
Mastry also indicated that the stadium currently does not have any issues with retaining rain water. During their post-Hurricane Earl assessment, it was observed that only rain water was collected on the field, and since then, they have elevated the entire ground level to 38 inches above the lagoon level. With additional adjustments made, Mastry is confident that the stadium can endure extreme weather.
“We have absolutely no problems with our field drainage. The issue with any field is when they don’t have proper drainage, but once you have drainage, you shouldn’t have problems with water,” said Mastry.
Despite Hurricane Earl, the much-anticipated sporting complex is still on-schedule, and with the current pace of construction, the inaugural ceremony is set to take place in September 2016.