New soccer stadium to take over Apia Park gym
The area where the old netball court and gymnasium was located at Apia Park will soon be taken over by a soccer stadium under the Football Federation Samoa.
The plan was confirmed by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Fio Purcell, who is also responsible for the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority.
Lautafi said the Apia Park area is flood-prone and the international football body has the money to develop the land.
He said all the sporting activities that were previously held in the facilities have been relocated to the newly constructed sports gym and facilities in Tuanaimato.
The lawn bowling area in Apia Park will also be done away to make way for the new football stadium.
Sports activities for netball, badminton, taekwondo and volleyball were initially hosted at the Apia Park gymnasium.
It was also the venue for many university graduation ceremonies in the past.
Lautafi estimated that about 10 acres of land have been requested by the Football Federation Samoa for their proposed plan.
“I cannot say how much it cost [for the land area], but I can say they have filed a proposal to utilise the area for a stadium,” he said.
“The old gym was put down because it was too old and the condition was no longer safe and the reason why the new gym was relocated to Tuanaimato.”
The Minister added construction works is likely to take place later on this year once the Football Federation deals with its bureaucracy.
The President of Football Federation Samoa, Papali’i Leslie Petaia, asked for an email so he can provide a response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
He did not reply by press time.
During a recent interview, Papali’i confirmed plans by the Federation to approach Government to set up a facility at Apia Park.
He did not disclose what the facility was at the time but had said facilities were needed in order to develop football in the country.
The Apia park gymnasium has been badly damaged during Cyclone Evans in 2012 and the Vaisigano river was blamed for the flooding results.
Cyclone Gita in 2018 added more damages to the already ruined facilities.
The old gymnasium was built in 1983 for the then South Pacific Games.