B1.4bn sports complex proposed for Mai Khao

MAI KHAO: The province will seek private-sector funding for a proposed 1.4-billion-baht sports complex and exhibition center to be sited on 617 rai of government land at the northern tip of the island.

Promchote Traivate, Head of the Phuket Office of Sports and Recreation Development, told the Gazette that a committee formed to study the feasibility of such a project presented its findings to Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura and other officials at a meeting on Tuesday at Provincial Hall.

The committee came out strongly in favor of building a regional sports center and training facility using private funding, as opposed to the other two possibilities considered: a sports training and development facility built with government funding; or a complex to host major international sports competitions, built with private-sector investment.

“Thailand hosts a major international sports competition only about once every 10 years. That’s why we want to make training our priority,” K. Promchote said.

The training center envisioned by the committee would include:

– A 15,000-seat soccer stadium;

– A multi-purpose indoor stadium for basketball, volleyball, badminton and martial arts;

– Outdoor tennis and basketball courts;

– An outdoor pool with spectator seating;

– A shooting range;

– Facilities for “extreme sports” such as skateboarding and stunt cycling; and

– Boathouses and other facilities for sailing and water sports along the coast.

The project would also include a 15,000-square-meter hall suitable for exhibitions and a total of 30,000sqm of parking space, capable of accommodating up to 1,350 vehicles, he said.

The facility would be located in the Tah Chat Chai area, near the Sarasin Bridge and the “Welcome Gate” now being built by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.

The land is currently under the control of the Treasury Department’s State Property Management and Services Office (Ratchapassadu).

K. Promchote quoted Gov Udomsak as saying that although the project would need private-sector investment, the government would retain a say in its operation and use.

When asked about concerns that the location for the complex would be too remote to attract many athletes, K. Promchote, again quoting the Governor, said the place was suitable because athletes need somewhere quiet to train and relax.

The Governor also suggested siting a government sports institute in the facility as a way to attract users.

In February, the committee will reach its final conclusions and begin preparing a “terms of reference” document that will be used to entice potential investors.

Phuket News

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