Santiago 2023 to leave behind lasting legacy



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Santiago 2023 on Coliseum US Image: Pan-American Games Santiago de Chile 2023

The 2023 Pan American Games, officially the XIX Pan American Games, is a forthcoming international multisport event scheduled to be held from October 20th to November 5th, 2023 in Santiago, Chile.

The Corporation XIX Pan American Games Santiago 2023 is a non-profit organization, formed between the National Institute of Sports and the Olympic Committee of Chile. The Corporation is in charge of the complete organization of the Pan American and Parapan American Games held every four years, one year before the Olympic Games.

Felipe De Pablo Jerez, CEO, Santiago 2023, Chile, and Juan Carlos Chamy Chacoff, CMO, Santiago 2023, Chile, shared exclusive information with ‘Coliseum’ with the former stating that they are taking a leaf out of Lima’s book as far as organizing the Pan-American Games are concerned while the latter said that Chile is working from the scratch to build the infrastructure for the forthcoming showpiece unlike LA28 which has all the spiffy venues in place.

The duo has been working together for the last two years – devising strategies to pull off the sporting spectacle in a smooth and streamlined manner.
 

Chile landing Games

Felipe De Pablo Jerez narrated how Chile landed the Games – “Santiago was unanimously elected as the Host City at the ANOC General Assembly in Prague (Czech Republic) on November 4th, 2017. This will mark the first time Chile hosts the Pan-American Games.”

Jerez informed that the President of the Chilean Olympic Committee, Miguel Ángel Mujica, made a strong pitch for Chile as the Host City and this paved the way for Chile landing the Games – “Of late, a lot of big-ticket events have been held in Chile and this too worked to our advantage in bagging the 2023 Pan-American Games.”

He further informed, “In 2015, Chile hosted the Copa América (the main international football tournament for national teams in South America) and this worked in our favor to host the 2023 sporting extraordinaire. We are bending over backwards to make the Games a huge success.”
 

Lima-inspired

As part of the 2023 spectacle, Jerez further narrated that he visited Lima (capital City of Peru) which had hosted the 2019 Pan-American Games to learn about the “tricks of the trade” and he came back “hugely impressed”.

He stated that Lima had the plushest venues in place and Chile will have to walk the extra mile and put in concrete strategies in place to measure up to Lima’s level – “What I saw in Lima was amazing. The venues were all meeting the standards of Olympic level. The Organizing Committee members shared a lot of information with us on how to build the infrastructure for the forthcoming Games which includes spiffy stadia. They told us about the minute details. Right now, we are at the design stage and a lot of hard work will go into making the venues totally futuristic.”

Presenting an example, he said that cables need to be laid in and around the venue entry points for which “we need to create a conduit so that we can lay the cables because drilling holes into the venues’ walls will make for an eyesore. So, these are the small challenges.”
 

Challenges ahead

The logistics will also play a pivotal role plus the commercial aspects will have to be looked into.

Santiago 2023 has been able to attract a lot of sponsors despite COVID-19 – the Omicron variant now devastating half of the globe.

He further stated that funds were another challenge, “We are dependent on Government funds and getting the same sanctioned involves a lot of red tapism. The Pan-American Games costs are very high. The other sporting shows which we have held here have come at a wallet-friendly price. But, with the Pan-American Games we are getting a first-hand experience of dealing directly with the Government. Events sponsored by private parties take much less time and are hitch-free.”
 

Venues

Most of the sporting events will be held at the 48,665-capacity Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos – the national stadium of Chile – which sits in the Ñuñoa district of Santiago.

The whole area has undergone major development for the 2023 show. Jerez pointed out that the community will also benefit from the entire developmental works going on to host the Pan-American Games. A Paralympic Training Center is also coming up in Chile.

Stated Jerez, “We are lending a futuristic touch to a lot of smaller venues. The venues which have been used to stage major sporting events earlier will be spruced up but no major revamp works will be carried out and they will be employed for the 2023 sporting showcase.”
 

Lasting legacy

The sports venues in Chile are going to leave behind a lasting legacy and the people working in these venues will attribute for valuable human resources.

To drive home his point, Jerez pointed out that in Lima, the people who were employed for the 2019 Pan-American Games are today “Actively taking part as volunteers to vaccinate people against the dreaded COVID-19 and its deadlier variants. What I mean is that even the human resources working for the 2023 Pan-American Games in Chile will one day turn out to be the most valuable employees.”
 

Inspiring youths

The 2023 Pan-American Games is also going to benefit Generation Z as he pointed out, “They will be hugely inspired to see such sporting extraordinaire in the stadia as well as on their television sets. This will inspire them hugely to win medals for their country in the future. Such big events also give a shot in the arm to the economic fabric of a nation and generate huge amounts of revenues. With Santiago 2023, entrepreneurs and businessmen will get motivated to invest in Chile and it is also going to work wonders for the country’s tourism front.”

The hospitality industry will also have to pull up its socks and rise to the occasion.

Jerez maintained that though things are on course, yet they cannot afford to “waste a single minute of their time and will have to work on a war footing to accomplish their goals”.

Juan Carlos Chamy Chacoff picked up from Jerez and stated that Chile landing the Games in 2023 was due to the team doing its homework well coupled with “Our level of confidence and effervescence. We have also landed the best of sponsors and Lima 2019 has also been a huge source of inspiration for us”.
 

Setting a benchmark

Chacoff maintained that Lima has set such a high standard by pulling off the 2019 Pan-American Games in a “Majestic manner that it is proving to be a huge challenge for us to maintain the same level of standards or even higher. Nevertheless, we are picking up pace by planning well ahead of time”.

He further maintained that they still have ample time on their hands and work will have to be accelerated so that the 2023 Pan-American Games remain etched in people’s memories.
 

Stadia status

Eleven venues are already in place. Eighty percent of the games are going to take place in Santiago, Chile, in the metropolitan area and the rest of the games in the fifth region.

Added Chacoff, “We will set up few venues in the national park for contact sports. For racket sports, a Paralympic venue is coming up and several million dollars have been invested for the same.”

Another project that will be an important legacy of Santiago 2023 is the remodeling and restructuring of the National Stadium Park (read national stadium of Chile). The historic sports center will have a large-scale remodeling of the Mario Recordón athletic track, the Aquatic Center, while the Sports Center 1, the Central Court of the National Stadium and the High Performance Center and their residences will have minor modifications, such as improving infrastructure and adding accessibility.

The restructuring of the Park will include the construction of new sports venues, many of which have been demanded by the same athletes for several years. For example, the construction of the first public field hockey pitches, where the first stone has already been laid.

The Contact Sports Training Center, the Parapan American Training Center and the Racket Sports Training Center are the other new venues that the new National Stadium Park will receive.

The sports villa is going to come up in the Cerrillos district and will span across six hectares of land. It is going to be well connected through different thoroughfares and will also be connected to the subway station.

Informed Chacoff, “The sports villa is going to be built from a scratch. For LA28, the scenario is different as they have state-of-the-art venues already in place and the infrastructure is world-class. We will have to build everything from a scratch and do not have a ready infrastructure in place like Los Angeles. This is a huge challenge for us. The Government of Chile is investing heavily. We have seven venues but 33 disciplines. We have to work a lot on the infrastructure and this is one of the biggest challenges as we have to construct more arenas within two years of time.”

Six big venues are in place in Chile and the show is being run by the Ministry of Sports.
 

Cutting-edge venues

Stated Chacoff, “To provide fans an enchanting experience, we will arm our venues with cutting-edge technology. Probably, the 5G technology is going to be implemented and deployed in the venues. Our technical team is working to come out with an app that will integrate different kinds of services like ticketing and merchandising.”
 

Digital platforms

Several digital platforms are being developed which will facilitate the people of Chile as well as people from all over the globe to savor the Pan-American Games. A new broadcasting company will be formed that will enjoy the international rights to broadcast the Games.

Chacoff concluded by stating, “We will come out with an app so that global audience can enjoy the 2023 Games. Our technical team is also working on fiber optics and connections and connectivity. All these technological developments are going to leave behind a lasting legacy.”

The Los Angeles (US) bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Summer Paralympics was an attempt to bring the Summer Olympic Games to the City of Los Angeles, California (US), in 2024. The Games were ultimately awarded to the City for 2028.

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