The organizing committee for the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands wants the start of the quadrennial event moved by four months to allow for the completion of the islands’ sports facilities that was bogged down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said the Honiara 2023 Pacific Games Organizing Committee has requested a change of date from the original July 16-29, 2023 schedule to Nov. 19 to Dec. 2, 2023 so the island-nations can complete its sports infrastructure to enable it to host the Games successfully.
“Due to COVID-19 causing inevitable delays to the commencement of the venue construction program in Honiara, the Games organizers have requested a change of dates…The PGC has been assured that the venue construction program, largely facilitated by the Chinese government, and which is underway, should be completed by mid-2023, but that allows no real time to test the venues and make them operational. Nor does it allow for contingencies in the event of further slippage in the construction program due to natural causes like heavy rains. These additional four months of preparation time will allow the venues to be fully completed and tested,” Minogue wrote to member island-nations of the Pacific Games Council.
He added that before committing to these revised dates, the council is consulting with each of the Oceania federations to ascertain whether there are any significant clashes with their sport’s international calendar at that time. “We would also like to receive feedback from PGAs.”
The 2023 Pacific Games will feature 16 mandatory sports—athletics, basketball (3×3 and 5×5), boxing, football, golf, judo, outrigger canoe, rugby 7’s, sailing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball (indoor and beach), and weightlifting. There are 21 optional sports and the events that will added to the mandatory list will be decided when the Pacific Games Council holds a general assembly early 2023.
In related news, the Pacific Games Council re-opened the bid process for the 2027 Pacific Games with a renewed call for expressions of interest. Several expressions of interest were received in May, and a deadline for the submission of full bid proposals is this Friday, June 25.