Work on stadium continues, but officials confident it will host athletics, rugby next year

NUKU’ALOFA, 22 AUGUST 2018 (KANIOVA TONGA NEWS) – Work on upgrading Nuku’alofa’s Teufaiva stadium  continues and while officials are confident rugby and athletics will be held there next year, much will depend on overseas funding.

It has been estimated that it will cost TP$6 million (US$4 million) to completely upgrade the stadium to international standards.

The New Zealand government committed NZ$2 million (US$1.3 million) towards upgrading the stadium in 2014.

The stadium was meant to be upgraded tin time for the 2019 Pacific Game.

Papua New Guinea offered to contribute $TP47 million (US$20.6 million), but withdrew its funding after the shock decision by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva that the kingdom would not host the games after all.

Sateki ‘Ahio, the Facility/Sports Development Assistance Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs said the Asian Development Bank would fund the upgrading of public facilities, the entrances to the stadium and the drainage of the stadium.

The stadium roof was damaged by Cyclone Gita in February and needs to be replaced. It is understood the National Emergency Management Office has been asked to fund a new roof.

The Tongan government has spent TP$500,000 (US$220,000) putting down new topsoil.

Despite the work still to be done, the Chief Executive Officer CEO for the Ministry for Internal Affairs ‘Onetoto

‘Anisi told Radio New Zealand it was likely the stadium, would be used for athletics and rugby early next year.

New Zealand company Field Drainage Specialists is working to increase the athletic track from six to eight lanes, install areas for shot put, discus and hammer throw, long and triple jumps, javelin, high jump and pole vault events.

Work on the track is expected to be complete by the end of December.

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