Travel & Outdoors | June 2009
|Guadalajara Prepares for 2011 PanAmerican Games|
Michael Glover - PVNN
June 13, 2009
In 28 months time, the city of Guadalajara will be sizzling with the feast of sporting events brought by the Pan-American Games.
The capital of the state of Jalisco is currently undergoing a huge renovation project in order to bring the city into the 21st century and stage what they believe will be the greatest Pan-American Games ever.
More than 5,000 athletes from approximately 42 countries across America and the Caribbean will be competing at Guadalajara 2011. Sports will range from aquatics, to football, to racquetball with a confirmed total of 30 and another six being considered.
The first Pan-American Games were celebrated in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 25 February 1951 with over 2,500 athletes competing from 22 different countries.
The games were proposed as an extension to the Central America regional games involving Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba, and were due to begin in 1942 but were postponed due to World War II.
With a total budget of $250 million, COPAG (the Organizing Committee for the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011) has a vision of drastically updating both the sporting and non-sporting infrastructure of the city.
The Re-engineering of the downtown area of the city will include new streets and roads and a number of new hotels, with Guadalajara predicted to have 22,000 hotel rooms by 2011.
The new bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Macrobús, was launched in March 2009 due to the city's capture of the games. The Macrobús is designed to give cheap, quick transit around the city for its citizens and the predicted mass influx of tourists during the games in 2011.
Further infrastructure planned ahead for 2011 includes a second terminal in the city's International Airport, a highway to Puerto Vallarta, and a bypass for southern Guadalajara.
The Pan-American Games will also mean the creation of its very own Pan-American Village in Guadalajara.
A number of buildings around the Morelos Park area of Guadalajara are currently being knocked down in order to create space for the 12 brand-new buildings of the village that will accommodate people involved with the games. Plans of the village can be seen at VillaPanAmericanaGdl.com.mx.
After the games the 12 buildings of the Pan-American Village will be used as housing for the residents of Guadalajara.
There are already 13 existing venues in Guadalajara that the games will use, including the Jalisco Stadium, UAG 3 de Marzo Stadium, and the UAG Gymnasium.
But the city is planning to introduce a number of new buildings for the sporting games to take place in.
Currently, there are four new sporting venues in the planning stage, seven under construction, and four finished. The brand new Aquatics Centre, Hockey Field and Weightlifting Arena are included in these.
There are also new operative buildings for the games, including the Pan-American Building in Morelos Park, and the currently under construction Centre for Sports Medicine.
The Pan-American Games will have its opening ceremony in the Jalisco Stadium, Guadalajara on 13 October 2011. Organizers are currently looking for volunteers to help out with the games and anyone interested should visit Guadalajara2011.org.mx.
Michael Glover is a volunteer with Global Volunteers Projects in the sports journalism sector. He has recently finished his second year (out of three) at university, studying sports journalism in England and is interning in Guadalajara Mexico to gain sports journalism work experience.