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City's largest sports facility deserted and deteriorating

The National Stadium, which was built in 2009 on the outskirts of the city centre for the South East Asian (SEA) Games, is said by some to resemble a field more than a national sports facility because of the unkempt grounds.

Much of the site is now covered in long grasses and shrubs and the grand sports complex that was built to much acclaim now appears deserted and dilapidated. Some of the timbers on the roofs of the various facilities have been eaten away by termites.

In addition, some of the doors inside the buildings remain open day and night regardless of anyone's presence. Today, the complex shows all the signs of abandonment.

The China Yunnan Construction Engineering Group Corporation built the sports complex on the 125-hectare site at a cost of more than US$100 million.

The Ministry of Education and Sports gave each sports federation the task of maintaining their respective facilities but the federations say they simply don't have enough money to pay for their upkeep.

Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Mr Bualane Silipanya told Vientiane Times on Friday that the state is now working with a private company to write a proposal for the rehabilitation of the complex.

“We are writing a report on which of the facilities need to be improved and then we will submit it to the government for consideration,” he said.

An official who works at the complex said that only the football stadium is being maintained because matches are held there regularly.

But the other facilities have been abandoned since the glory days of the SEA Games. Three indoor stadiums were built for the games' volleyball, badminton and shooting events, and there is also a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Mr Bualane said it costs about 600,000 to pay workers to cut the grass on the football field each week.

Spectators who come to watch football matches at the stadium complain that the toilets are dirty and smelly and rarely cleaned.

The main stadium has a seating capacity of 20,000 and is used for football and track and field events.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update October 26, 2015)

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