Department of Sports & Recreation director Jojo Attao last Friday announced that the Oleai Sports Complex will be closed to the public from early December 2012 through February 2013 due to a contract made between the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the LG Twins.
The LG Twins is a professional baseball team from South Korea that essentially bought the rights to using the complex for its spring training program.
As of last Friday, Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios and Miguel “Tan Ge” Pangelinan baseball fields were closed because they are undergoing unspecified renovations, and starting Sunday, Dec. 2 the entire complex will be off-limits to the public through Dec. 23, where it will reopen for a brief period before closing again at the turn of the calendar year from Jan. 1 to Feb. 9, 2013.
Saipan Tribune officially received the announcements of the closing last Friday.
This means that the public will not be granted access to the basketball court, soccer fields, nor the track and field because the LG Twins have been issued use of the facilities, exclusively.
The Basketball Association of the NMI, the Saipan Major League Baseball Association, the NMI Football Association among other various local groups routinely use the Oleai Sports Complex for adult and youth events, and according to Attao he has not received any negative feedback as of last Friday.
In perhaps a rehearsed response, Attao shrugged off any criticism, saying that he never received any complaints about the closings despite the announcement not being officially communicated until last weekend. He did disclose, however, that local sports organizers were somehow aware of the closings before last Friday and had thus scheduled their activities to wrap up before the initial closing date.
When asked about specifics of the contract agreement and a further explanation as to how the decision of closing off the public facility to the public, Attao refereed the Saipan Tribune to DCCA Secretary Melvin Faisao.
The media release lists Attao as the contact person to obtain more information. He can be reached at (670)-664-2508.