Limpag: Sinulog venue argument means we need new CCSC

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It’s a repeat of 2023 with folks divided on where they want the Sinulog grand parade to be held, at South Road Properties per Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama or at traditional venue per Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.

I’m not going to butt in between the two ideas, but would rather point at another possible solution to avoid future impasse: Cebu needs a new Cebu City Sports Center.

In my over 30 years of experience in sports, as an athlete, a fan and in the last two decades, a journalist, the CCSC, for me, is the most used government sports facility.

And that’s a good thing. Back when I was at the CCSC almost every day, more than a decade when I was preparing for the 21K category of the Cebu City Marathon, the place was packed with all kinds of athletes.

Runners, footballers, badminton players and all sorts of martial arts practitioners and that was just at the periphery of the oval. That’s not counting those who book the badminton, basketball and swimming facilities.

Built for the 1994 hosting of the Palarong Pambansa, the place has more than paid for itself over the years as it has also become the venue for non-sports activities like concerts, company outings or what-have-you.

Now, it is undergoing renovation for Cebu City’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa, a renovation suited for a Palarong Pambansa hosting.

However, I hope this Mike vs. Gwen argument would prod some of those behind Cebu City’s “Singapore-like with Melbourne features” thinking to also think beyond the box when it comes to the CCSC. Singapore and Melbourne have major stadiums that can hold Fifa matches and concerts, and yes, events like the Sinulog.

The new CCSC doesn’t have to be at the old CCSC since I don’t think there’s room for expansion there. Football, especially women’s football in the country, is gaining new grounds but we’ve been missing out on hosting Azkals matches ever since new regulations meant CCSC fails the Fifa standards.

Then we can have architects who will incorporate major events like the Sinulog in the design, to make sure the sports facilities won’t be damaged after such events.

You may say it’s a pipe dream, given the myriad of problems Cebu City is facing like traffic and flooding, to name just two.

But then again, such a facility could generate income for Cebu City, especially if you look at the various alumni basketball leagues and even Cesafi as potential clients for the basketball facility. Then there’s the tennis community, which I’ve learned belatedly, is an underserved one.

I hope when 2025 comes around, we’ll have a new conversation this time of the year.


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