Torres says $21.1M award is largest single project award in EDA history

Governor says funding will be used to have a state-of-the-art sports complex and cultural events site

In announcing Friday the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s award of $21.2 million to the CNMI to rebuild the Oleai Sports Complex, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres described it as the largest single project grant award to a state or territory in EDA history.

Torres said this will provide for a state-of-the-art sports complex and a cultural events site and will greatly benefit local athletes as the CNMI positions to grow its sports tourism and cultural tourism industries.

“Our goal for the sports complex is to make the CNMI a highly-attractive training destination for our tourism industry and allow for the hosting of large-scale regional sport events,” he said.

Torres talked about the $21.2-million grant in the introduction part of his speech during the CNMI’s government’s presentation about the American Rescue Plan Act’s spending plan at the Hibiscus Hall of Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan (formerly Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan).

The governor said that, with this EDA with this funding, the CNMI will build a cultural event site dedicated to local, regional, and international cultural and arts events within the Pacific.

“Most importantly, it will be a place on the central part of our island to encourage everyone in our community to get fit and live a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Torres commended the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Office of Planning and Development for taking the lead on this, and EDA staff who provided important technical assistance along the way.

“This award is an example of what we can accomplish in the face of disaster,” the governor said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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