Future uncertain for Apia Park Sports Complex
Apia, SAMOA — The future of the Apia Park Sports Complex beyond the Pacific Games in July is uncertain, as it is now firmly established that it is flood prone.
The Vaisigano River is largely to blame for the flooding and the resulting damages; the worst one during Cyclone Evans in 2012.
The river overflowed into one of its dried up tributary at Lelata and gushed straight into the sports complex.
The expensive rubber track inside the multi million tala stadium was buried under close to 2 meters of mud and debris.
“ We were unable to use any machinery to clean out the thick mud, so we had to do it by hand,” Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Ports Facility Authority, Moefa’auo Salale Moananu recalled.
He was reacting to inquiries by Newsline Samoa to what the future may hold for the iconic sporting landmark.
Concern for future flooding forced the construction of a replacement Gymnasium away from the Apia Park Sports Complex for the July Games.
“ The old gymnasium was built for the 1983 Pacific Games and it was found on inspection to be structurally unsafe, so a new one was to be built under Chinese assistance, on the same spot,” Moefa’auo disclosed.
“Government stopped it and decided to relocate the new building to the Faleata Sports Complex because of the flood risks to the Apia Park.”
The original vision by Government was for all the sports to be centralized at Faleata, but it will be a costly exercise as far Moefa’auo is concerned.
“Government has invested so much into the development of the Apia Park Sports Complex that cannot be overlooked.
“Right now there is no plan to shift out of the Apia Park and relocate the stadium to Faleata.
“Government does not have the capability to meet the costs for all that unless it is with donor funding assistance.”
The Faleata Sports Complex covers an area of more than 400 acres, with the golf course taking up 100 acres and the rest leased to sporting bodies including the Samoa Rugby Union.