Barker: Use stadiums

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ECONOMIST Paul Barker says the Government, which has been investing so much lately on sports infrastructures, should ensure they are used for more international and local tournaments to justify the investment.
He was yesterday asked by The National to comment on the economic implications to the country of international events such as the current Fifa Under-20 women’s soccer World Cup in Port Moresby.
“There’s little doubt that, considering the other demands on public funds leading up to last year’s Pacific Games, with PNG’s poor education, health, rural infrastructure and other social indicators, and its growing debt, that PNG should have avoided spending so much on sporting infrastructure for the Pacific  Games,” Barker  said.
“But having done so, the capital cost has already occurred, and the value of the investment is dependent upon using the facilities as constantly as possible for international and local competitions and local use.”
He said it would be interesting to see the actual cost for PNG in hosting the event, and how much in cost was covered by external and commercial sponsors.
“So long as PNG isn’t paying too much, beyond providing the infrastructure, the games not only provide local entertainment, it will hopefully encourage soccer among Papua New Guineans to positively raise PNG’s international profile and provide valuable economic activity for the hospitality industry,” he said.

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