In keeping with Chile’s continuing efforts to make itself known as a major player on the world stage, the country was also the first to make a bid for the 2019 Pan American Games. With a strong economy, completely modernized facilities and a competitive edge, this country by the Andes is a set to become a driving force in world sports.
The next five years are promising to be exciting ones for Chilean sports. The country gears up to host the 2014 Odesur Games, the 2015 Copa América and bids on a possible nomination for the 2019 Pan American Games. In preparation for the games, the National Institute of Sports (IND) is remodelling 13 of the country’s sports complexes with an overall investment of US$200 million.
“Here at the IND we have a small ‘stadium factory’,” said Subsecretary of Sports Gabriel Tagle. “There’s a team of young architects that is working on one of the biggest projects that the government has undertaken.”
The project, which is set to finish by the end of 2013, will renovate stadiums in some of the country’s most important cities, including Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Concepción and Calama, amongst others.
Santiago’s Estadio Nacional will get a special injection of nearly US$50 million in anticipation of the 2014 Odesur Games, an Olympics-style sports event between South American countries held every four years.
The following year will see the country host the 2015 Copa América, organized soccer’s longest running competition between nations, with the first games being played in 1916. Since then Chile has hosted the games six times, with the last being in 1991. Originally scheduled to host the tournament in 2019, Chile stepped in after Brazil declined due to concerns over its preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Tagle played down the role of the Copa América in the country’s stadium project. “All of the stadiums meet FIFA standards, so there won’t be any problems there. It’s more – if I dare say – that after Brazil, who’s preparing to host the World Cup, Chile will have the most modern stadiums on the continent.”