ILOILO City is bracing up to become a major sports destination in the Philippines as it prepares to host several sports activities to complement the upcoming Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said Iloilo needs a permanent sports arena as the city is becoming a venue for major sports activities in the country.

A sports arena is being considered to be installed at the city lot in San Pedro, Molo district or to be adopted by the Department of Education (DepEd) in one of its city land properties.

Mabilog said he is targeting that the sports arena or sports complex will be realized through a public private partnership (PPP) or from the city sports fund within the year.

This month, the sports events will start with a triathlon during the Dinagyang Festival starting from the municipality of Oton to the city proper.

The Dinagyang will also see sports events such as golf, beach volleyball, tennis, chess, boxing, basketball and other sports.

A group from Barcelona, Spain has visited the city recently and committed to put up bleachers at the football field in La Paz district. The city is set to host the Asian taekwondo competition in the month of August.

Iloilo City has already several national and international athletes in different sports disciplines. Mabilog said he is looking at a sports venue as his next major project in 2014-2015.