‘CNMI to be Mini Games-ready by December’


As part of the renovation plans for the upcoming 2022 Pacific Mini Games, the Oleai Track and Field will be fully resurfaced. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

The 2022 Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee expects to complete all the needed renovations to the venues that will be utilized during the 2022 Pacific Mini Games by December.

In an interview with Ben Babauta, Mini Games Organizing committee CEO, he said the committee, in conjunction with the administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, has already started the needed preparations for the venues and expects the completion of this venues by December, January at the latest.

Babauta explained that minor work to some of the facilities in preparation of the Mini Games have started, however, actual work like construction will begin around June with the target completion date in December.

“Actual work may commence as early as probably June or July and should be done no later than December. If anything will be early January to make sure the venues are game ready,” he said.

“So [preparations are] ongoing. [We’ve been working really hard] with [governor’s authorized representative] Patrick Guerrero, along with our architect and engineering firms that are facilitating the Oleai Sports Complex and the other venues,” Babauta added.

Some of the needed renovations include air-conditioning, resurfacing, and various repairs and renovations.

“We’ll be air-conditioning the entire gym, resurfacing, the track and field, repairing and renovating the baseball field along with the smaller field at the back, and just the overall ambient environment. For the other venues such as the American Memorial Park tennis court, the Park Service is assisting us in resurfacing the tennis court. Crowne Plaza (formerly Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan) will be used for the beach volleyball, [Pacific Islands Club Saipan) will also help for tennis, and of course, across the street, Kilili Beach will be hosting va’a, also known as paddling and also triathalon,” he said.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, The Northern Marianas has pledged $4 million to host the Mini Games, which will be held on June 17-25, 2022.

The Mini Games are a multi-sport event governed by the Pacific Games Committee and are as a scaled-down version of the Pacific Games, held every alternating four years.

The PGC is also supporting the event financially, and fundraising for cash and in-kind support will also be conducted.

The CNMI 2022 Mini Games will include athletics, badminton, baseball, golf, beach volleyball, tennis, triathlon, and va’a (outrigger canoe) at various venues around Saipan.

It was supposed to be held this year, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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