ANGELES CITY - Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno will lead groundbreaking ceremonies of the Angeles City Sports Stadium on February 22 to coincide with the opening of the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA) Meet to be hosted by this city.

City Administrator Mark Allen told Sun.Star Pampanga on Thursday that the ground breaking will help foster better sports programs and activities. The sports complex facility will be located along Barangay Mining here. The facility would include swimming pools, courts for basketball, volleyball and structures to house sporting events.

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The project, which is expected to be financed through a multi-million peso loan from the Veterans Bank of the Philippines, was opposed by many Nepomuceno critics. But Nepomuceno and Sison said that like other needs of the city in terms of health, livelihood and poverty alleviation, sports should also be given the same priority.

"The services we give to our people will not, in anyway, be affected by the establishment of the sports facility. This is merely a part of the well-rounded governance of Mayor Nepomuceno," Sison said.

The groundbreaking will be attended by local government officials, Angeles City athletes and CLRAA officials.

Sison said that the project, once realized, will also be an income generating facility for the city as it will be able to host sporting events and social functions of the city and other groups.

"The facility will also serve as the training ground of many of our athletes in order that we can develop more students to become competent athletes. We can now also strengthen the sports program of the city to include out-of-school youths that could be admitted through the sports programs," he said.

Mayor Nepomuceno, for his part, said that the facility will also serve as a focal point to develop the western lands of the city; Nepomuceno said that the facility would be able to generate both human traffic and local tourism through hosting of national and regional sporting competitions.

"We would like to be known also as a city that has a deep love for sports. We want to see boxing competitions held here and our residents in the city to take advantage of the facilities of the soon-to-rise facility," Nepomuceno said.

Nepomuceno said that Angeles City aims to rival Tarlac City in hosting even the Palarong Pambansa once the facility is completed here.

"This impact project will be a legacy that Angeles City would be able to benefit from for a very long time," Nepomuceno said.