The frame for the Belize City Center is starting to take shape and excitement rises with every beam that is erected next to the BelCan Bridge.
Belize City basketball players have been homeless since September of 2013 when the old Belize City Center was torn down. The only “reliable” venues for hosting basketball competitions since have been the Birds Isle and Belize Elementary Auditorium. Without trying to be ungrateful to a welcoming host, Birds Isle would not qualify to host any mid-level league anywhere else in the world. At any time now, someone may fall through that court. It does have sentimental appeal so maybe the National Institute of Culture and History should look into establishing it as a landmark. The Elementary Auditorium is basically a hot box trapped inside a microwave oven. One of the three point line is further than the other and most ballers swear that one of the rims is higher than the next. Apart from that, the facility provides a decent playing experience. However, Belize City ballers are ready to go back home.
JVCA Medina’s Construction Ltd/International Environments Ltd. signed contracts with the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) on October 8, 2015 and in November of 2015, work teams began to move into the City Center compound to get the project off the ground. According to BIL, the new Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex design will qualify for world championship women’s U-21 and U-19 world championship men and women events. There will be three interior practice basketball courts and one professional center court. The design allows for designated seating for up to 4000 for games and 5000 for indoor entertainment events such as conventions, concerts and other sporting events such as boxing and volleyball. Seats are individual and are numbered by rows. The design also includes post game rooms, media rooms, administration room and more concessions space. The new Belize City Center will be fully air conditioned and fully handicap accessible. The facility will be equipped with stage and event performance space and back of house facilities. The size and careful design of the building footprint and structural placement allows for a broader range of vehicles that will now be able to park under the building. The interior function of the building was completed in accordance with FIBA standards and in conjunction with approved consultancy input. Exterior design allows for multiple plazas to accommodate recreational sports and parks, including two outdoor basketball courts, one 5 on 5 soccer field and skateboard parks just to name a few. It caters to hosting outdoor entertainments with security features, police and ambulance Zones.
The value of the contract is BZ$32,940,261.34 and construction is expected to be completed by December of 2017.The Guardian