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Friday, April 18, 2014

CNMI loses Micro Games bid

Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association tried to bring the 2017 Pacific Mini Games to the CNMI, but lost to Vanuatu in the selection process during the Pacific Games Association general assembly in New Caledonia in August.

Nauru joined the CNMI and Vanuatu in the three-way fight for the hosting rights for the 2017 Mini Games. Norfolk Island was also a candidate, but pulled out a few months before the general assembly took place. Nauru went on to bow out of contention after the first round of election, as it got only six votes. The CNMI and Vanuatu were in a deadlock after the first round as they both received eight votes. Then in the second round, Vanuatu edged the Commonwealth, 13-9.

Though disappointed, NMASA president Michael White, who with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial represented the CNMI in the bid presentation, understood the decision of the majority. He added that the Commonwealth had a superior bid presentation against Vanuatu, in terms of the proposed facilities and accommodations, but Vanuatu still prevailed because of its proximity to most PGA members.

Before the hosting rights were awarded to Vanuatu, Pacific Games Council president Vidhya Lakhan and executive director Andrew Minogue made a site visit to Saipan in June. Minogue then gave the CNMI facilities a good grade, saying most of them are ready and need only repairs.

However, in the end the much higher cost to travel to the CNMI prompted PGAs to choose Vanuatu as the host of the quadrennial competition.

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