The need for more parking space may just force young athletes out of their playing field. Sources from City Hall say that the space between the grandstand and the track at the Baguio athletic bowl and the archery range at the seven hectare Baguio athletic bowl are being eyed by the City Building and Architect Office as possible parking spaces. The one fronting the grandstand are used as courts
for volleyball and sometime futsal, badminton or sepak takraw.

There are three such courts now and are usually filled with athletes after every 3PM until sundown during the weekdays and the whole day on weekends. The Baguio College of Technology Atoms make use of one of the courts for their training. “I am really grateful to (city sports development
officer Gaudencio) Gonzales for allowing us use of one of the courts,” said BCT Atoms coach Benigno Aquino. The Atoms want to improve on their second place finish in 2019.

Players from the ABCAmp, a volleyball developmental group, and the University of the Cordilleras
Baby Jaguars also make use of one of the courts. The Baguio futsal team are also utilizing one of the courts for their training. Goals can be seen at some corners of the courts. The CBAO wants the
courts to be used as parking as hundreds of vehicles are present at the Burnham Park area. It is worst starting Fridays and the holidays when half of the road from the old auditorium until the Kisad junction is closed as cars queue to get a parking slot.

Moreover, even as construction is still on-going for the youth convergence and sports complex, the CBAO proposed that the archery range be instead turned into a parking building. The city has allotted PhP5 million to refurbish the area to allow a 100 meter, eight range shooting gallery once
construction of the sports complex is finished and allow the return of the archers who are temporarily relocated at a portion of the Melvin Jones football field, particularly the frontage of the Solibao restaurant.

The proposal came at the wake of the soon to be finished structures at the athletic bowl – the Baguio tennis courts and the sports complex – which are expected to have 80 and more than 100 parking slots. The tennis courts are supposed to be finished by March, the mayor was assured by the contractor, but it may take longer as the top floor is not yet complete, while the entrance needs work yet. Entrance will instead be at the old restroom.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

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