Oleai Sports Complex still open despite lack of budget

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Players in action in the 2019 Avengers Volleyball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. The Ada Gym and other facilities at the Oleai Sports Complex will remain open to accommodate various tournaments and events. (Contributed Photo)

The Oleai Sports Complex will remain open indefinitely despite the absence of funding from the government for over a month now.

According to Northern Marianas Sports Association, the organization tasked with the maintenance of the sports complex, it has decided to keep the facilities (Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, track oval, and Francisco M. Palacios Ballfield) open to accommodate visitors from Japan and Korea, who made reservations for their spring training.

NMSA has also opted to keep the facilities operational, as there are ongoing leagues and upcoming competitions and events, such as the Super American Circus, which will have its show next week.

Meanwhile, the Japanese and Korean groups are expected to arrive in December and will utilize the Oleai Sports Complex indefinitely, so NMSA has decided against closing the facility despite the financial issues that arose due to CNMI government’s austerity measures. No funding was appropriated for NMSA for the 2020 fiscal year.

NMSA, however, remains optimistic that its financial challenges will be resolved since the group has already submitted financial reports to the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. NMSA met with SNILD chair Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) last week and handed over the financial reports for the Oleai Sports Complex and the lottery program.

The lawmakers pressed NMSA to turn in the financial reporters before they could discuss possible funding sources to keep the sports complex running. The facility will be the main hub for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games that the CNMI will be hosting for the first time.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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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