The city government of Manila will convert the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into a sports, recreational and business center, Mayor Joseph Estrada said on Monday.
Estrada said the city will develop the property despite the opposition of heritage advocates, prominent sports personalities and different sports organizations.
The mayor maintained that the city owns the sports complex.
“The Rizal Memorial stadium is still owned and will remain to be a property of the government. We will not sell it. It will just be developed into a sports, recreational and business center under a joint venture agreement,” the mayor said.
He added that the Philippine Sports Commission has limited use of the complex because it “only has usufruct rights.”
The redevelopment of the sports complex is part of the urban development program by the city administration, Estrada said.
“There is no one using it. There is no more profit coming in. Everything there is old. How could it benefit the city? Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is already antiquated,” he added.
The city government was said to be in discussion with the Razon Group owned by Enrique Razon for the possible development of the property into a modern urban complex with commercial buildings, a shopping mall and a sports museum.
Built in 1934, the Rizal Memorial Coliseum hosted several international sports events such as the Far Eastern Games, 1954 Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in 1981, 1991 and 2005. KENNETH HERNANDEZ