Anyone who's been to the PG Sporting Complex in the past 10 years or so will know that it had seen better days. It's the home of basketball in Punta Gorda and it was also home to major public events such as Battle of the Drums.

Well, starting tomorrow, town residents and visitors will be able to experience the battle of the drums in a spanking new venue. After an extended closure for rehabilitation, The PG sporting complex opens tomorrow for the Battle. The Government Press Office shared this preview with us - where BIL's General Manager Christ Mastry discussed the cost and all the new features:..

Christy Mastry, General Manager - BIL
"The budget for the overall facility and the surrounding ground works which I know people once they start coming to it will be able to appreciate, was a little over 3.4 million and that includes everything within the building itself, the steel frame itself, up to a category 3 storm shelter as need and all of the additional landfill that we had to put around the grounds which is in some areas as much as 3 feet high in order to make the building accessible from the entire peripheral. The facility itself is double what the old facility use to be. It used to be roughly about 60x100 and now you are looking at about 120x200 foot long building facility, hence the reorientation of the building itself."

"We have the indoor Connors FIBA approved sport court which is a full wood court with the padded cushion sleepers underneath and that will also come with the protective covering that they can put out for whenever they are hosting events not using the court facility. We see the Gared backboards very similarly to what everyone has seen so far in Dangriga and the bleachers seating around us which is the molded seating that sits between 800-900 and then with the floor court seating up to 1,000."

Fern Guiterrez, Mayor - Punta Gorda
"It gives our, specifically the youths in our community a safe place to grow and to play and as we move towards becoming child friendly as well, this speaks about the commitment as a country. The task now is to ensure that we put together a sporting plan so that we encourage young people to be more active in the community in these safe and secure play spaces."

"There is an existing management committee which comprises of specific personell in the municipality, representative from the Punta Gorda Town Council, a representative from the Sports Council, a representative from the Business Community as well as other community personell who will be managing the facility and making sure at the end of the day that its kept and properly in good hands as we proceed onwards."

So, as we said at the tops - the soft opening is all about the Battle of the Drums - which comes home to PG after it was forced to roam while the building was being renovated. The Mayor says she welcomes it:...

Fern Guiterrez, Mayor - Punta Gorda
"The sports complex has always been a house for the Battle of the Drums. If it rains it's a problem and in PG it rains often, but today or in a couple of hours the food and fete will be held in a well-covered well enhanced facility and that is truly a blessing. As a community we are doing a soft opening today walking through the building to ensure that Battle of the Drums also have an opportunity to come back home."

Christy Mastry, General Manager - BIL
"We are excited, because what's happening this weekend is there is going to be a soft opening for this event and there is going to be doing festivities in here tomorrow Friday and on Saturday the official Battle of the Drums. We really wanted to allow them to use this facility in 2017 as we've displaced them."

Fern Guiterrez, Mayor - Punta Gorda "We are happy as a community to be bringing back Battle of the Drums home in a more enhanced safe environment and an environment that speaks to the magnitude of what PG offers."

That wooden court will be fully covered with neoplastic this weekend to protect it we are told. Same goes for next week Friday when it will have the official opening, followed by Garifuna cultural festivities.

Channel 7