Gold Coast to host 2014 Pan Pacific Championships after new deal agreed
Sunday, 11 November 2012
November 11 - The Gold Coast will host the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships after a multi-million dollar upgrade plan to redevelop the city's aquatics centre was agreed.
Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Government have agreed to share the $41 million (£26 million/€32 million) cost necessary to bring the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre up to standard for an event that is considered one of the highlights of the swimming calendar.
The announcement that an agreement had been reached to carry out the work necessary to the Aquatics Centre coincides with the first anniversary of Gold Coast being awarded the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The upgraded Aquatics Centre will also act as the centrepiece for the swimming in 2018 and should end speculation that the sport will be held in Brisbane during the Commonwealth Games.
It will be the first time that Australia has hosted the Pan Pacific Championships, an event that the likes of Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe have previously participated in, since 1999 when Sydney staged the event as a warm-up for the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics.
The last time they were staged in Queensland was at Brisbane in 1987.
The investment will help fund a new 10-lane, 50 metres competition pool, new learn-to-swim pool, elevated spectator concourse-viewing terrace, new change rooms, gym and toilet facilities, community meeting rooms, event facilities, permanent seating for 1,000 people and refurbishment of the existing eight-lane, 50m pool and dive pool.
"Moving the project forward for the Pan Pacs will also ensure we have world-class training facilities available for our elite swimming and diving squads for their preparations ahead of the 2016 Brazil [Rio] Olympics and the 2018 Games," Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate told the Gold Coast Bulletin.