Last night on the news we had an extensive interview with Christy Mastry, the General Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited. We spoke to her about the 32.9 million dollars new Civic Center - the most expensive public building in Belize's history. But we also spoke to her about a lesser-known project - that came in at 3% of the cost of City center. It's Falcon Field in San Ignacio - which is off Joe Andrews Boulevard. BIL upgraded the entire Field - but did so to the neglect of the basketball court. It got a covered roof - but lost a court, and the players say the new backboards and rim are unsatisfactory. This was voiced most eloquently by Vice President of the Belize Basketball Federation, Karim Juan recently. Juan is the organizer of the BECOL Annual Tournament in the Cayo district - and that tournament is played at Falcon Field. We asked Mastry about it - starting with the rims:...

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL
"The rims, we ordered the actual standard Gared rims. So we brought in higher profile rims than they had in the first place. We put a covering on that. That covering is meant to serve the general public for public events. It was not necessarily to cater to any kind of semi-enclosed paid event. So I understand the concern from the association that wants to have competitions out there. The list actually that we discussed were really a list of improvements. It wasn't a list of criticism and with any amount of money I can make as many improvements as we want to do. For another $200,000 - $300,000 I can give Karim, but we had a budget and it was $850,000 for Falcon field and that was really to create that into an outdoor recreation venue. Sympathetic of the fact that in his comments, he wants to really turn that into something that he can host games. I completely understand. I know in tandem with Sacred Heart and a lot of the work and I give him a lot of credit for all the work he's done at Sacred Heart. But at this point in time, Falcon Field is there as a recreational venue, but we will keep the comments in mind, if we get any more money for Falcon Field."

Jules Vasquez
"I want to just read it quickly. Every time it rains we need to sweep the court and not postponed the games. Facility only has two rows of bleachers, only 5 lights, no electrical outlets, direction of the court was east-west and not north-south. Rising and setting of the sun its effect on basketball players, the rims are not flexible, the backboards are poorly mounted, the structure we had before had better lighting, better bleachers, better rims, better team benches, better backboards and it has two basketball courts. After investing almost 1 million in this structure Mr. Juan says I am sure that we could have received a more suitable and equip facility. He is an end-user."

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL
"I completely agree. He is also an end-user who has spent the million on Sacred Heart, so that was envisioned at Sacred Heart would be the place where they could have the enclosed ticketed play and he is right, if for one million dollars, we said all we are going to focused on is the basketball. But you know there are public restrooms out there, there is lighting out there, there is the enhancement of the stage, there is the track that we did walking around the area. So there are a lot of other things that have accommodated that one million dollars and it wasn't intentionally built to accommodate the semi-enclosed indoor play that he is referencing with those points."

Jules Vasquez
"I understand what you are saying, but then we see how BIL is failing to achieve its objective which is of creating a more suitable atmosphere for the playing of sports."

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL
"I would definitely not say that is a failed objective. I honestly say that when we go to each area, we looked at Victor Galvez, which is right up the street and that was something that we said what is this going to be. This is going to be a community park public space. This is for recreation, this is for the community, and this is for the kids. It is very similar with what we did to Falcon Field. It is an outdoor venue. When we get into something more specific such as Isodorio Beaten, where we are targeting meeting certain criteria as in CONCACAF and the turf and the lighting - we understand that those are parameters and we go about that in a completely different design methodology than we do for a public recreation. So that's all I really can say about Falcon Field at this point in time. I know what he wants. I know why he is criticizing. I am completely heartfelt understanding to what he is saying. But that was not the intention of Falcon Field at any point in time."

Jules Vasquez
"You can understand the criticism and I am not going to revisit that. But the criticism in general that you all on BIL, you all perhaps are not lovers of sports or you all are not people who play sports. So it's like okay we have a rim - good, let them shoot in it. But as a basketball player once you see a Sprite backboard, you already know its free thing. Like you already know that whoever put that up, doesn't really love basketball - they love free thing."

Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL
"Which is why we didn't put up Sprite backboards. We actually installed the Gared backboards which we coordinated with the Belize Basketball Federation. I guess there could be some criticisms that I don't play basketball which is why we hired our FIBA consultant and which is why we meet with the stakeholders that will necessarily tell us what the user wants."

As you saw the rebound boards are Sprite rebound boards and not Ga-red.

Sacred Heart College across the road has a fully indoor facility - but it does not have a wooden court - which the basketball community also considers an oversight.

Channel 7