Fair Play: Drop SRP arena requirement for turf at CCSC

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's July 1 edition)
AT her best, she was one of the best in the country and no one looked better than her that one fine November in 2012.

Last Sunday, she was downright ugly and unplayable, at a time when everyone wanted her to be at her best.

I doubt the workers, even if there were an army of them, could get the Cebu City Sports Center field ready for the Aboitiz Cup finals between Leylam and Erco Bro GAU. The heavy rain and a dysfunctional drainage system rendered the field unplayable, and the guys with buckets looked pitiful in the field.

That scene reminded me of the arena requirement of Mayor Mike Rama for a buyer of the South Road Properties, even if there's already one that's going to be built in the neighborhood by SM. Instead of an arena, why not require the buyer to put up an artificial turf at the Cebu City Sports Center?

According to data I got three years ago, putting up an artificial turf at the CCSC would cost P18 million for the pitch itself, another P2 million for the gravel and sand base and another P700,000 for the PVC backing, or the drainage.

That's a whole lot cheaper than putting up an arena at the SRP that not only would compete with the Arena SM would put up, but also the soon to be spruced up Cebu Coliseum.

Would it earn Cebu City earn money? Yes. Considering how the CCSC is the only viable football field in Cebu for tournaments like the Aboitiz Cup, Cesafi and the football festivals. Plus, I'm sure with a turf in the city, weekend warriors would revise their schedule to play on weekdays at such a lovely field.

How about the annual field-damaging Sinulog Festival and other concerts? Well, if the City invests P22.7 million, or have an investor put it up, I'm sure the Sinulog Foundation will really think of ways to protect it.

A CCSC field with an artificial turf will not have any competition in Cebu. In fact, it's competition would be the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Philippine Stadium and the Panaad Stadium.

What’s another arena compared to an artificial turf?

And if the Azkals are willing to play in Cebu despite horrible field conditions, how frequent would they be coming here if we had an artificial turf?

The guys at City Hall, these days, are so busy bickering. I hope they’d take a pause and see that putting up another arena in an area where there’s going to be an arena doesn’t make sense.

One that does is a turf at CCSC.


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