By BBN Staff: The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow expressing concern over suggestions and indications in newspapers that the newly constructed Belize Civic Center would be managed under a private concession model rather than a government managed model.
According to the BBF, it has not been consulted as one of the critical stakeholders with regards to usage of the new facility. The federation fears that management under any private operator, in an effort to “maximize operating margins”, will result in cost of access levels for the sporting community which will be expensive and prohibitive.
The BBF says it hopes that the matter is still up for consideration after consultation with the critical stakeholders, including those from volleyball, table tennis and boxing community.
The federation says the matter is critical and timely, especially now as the BBF enters the peak of the international competition cycle with the upcoming Central American Games in December of this year, the Commonwealth Games in April next year and the Central American & Caribbean Games in August next year.
The BBF suggested that one alternative to private sector management is for the facility’s management be shared under a single entity comprised of the National Sports Council on the one hand, and an umbrella grouping of national sporting federations via the National Olympic Committee on the other.
Management and governance would be transparent to all stakeholders and the operations would be strictly on a non-profit basis with cost recovery of maintenance and operating costs (primarily utilities, which are majority state-owned companies in any event) as opposed to profit margins as the primary focus., the federation said.
The BBF says it is ready and willing to contribute further details of how such a model would work, but believes this is just one of many other options which could be considered and which would more effectively serve the objectives of all stakeholders.
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