The Gold Coast Aquatic Center in Australia will remain roofless, despite pleas by Australia’s National Swimming Coach Jacco Verhaeren and Australian Commonwealth Games Association President Sam Coffa.
Citing the debacle surrounding the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, where spectators and swimmers endured days of cold and rainy days in the open-air facility, Verhaeren and Coffa urged the Gold Coast City Council and State government to put a roof over the center to avoid the same situation come the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Given the significant issues we had during the Pan Pacs, I am sure that if they come back again they would ask for a roof. We got away with it last time and our swimmers did well but it is not the way to go on the international stage,” Verhaeren stated early last month.
Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe did concede moving forward with the installation of a temporary roof, however, he has ruled out a permanent structure, which has a price tag estimate of $20 million.
“We were asked to deliver a pool and a park — and we have a pool and a park which I see used constantly, enjoyed by the people of the Gold Coast regularly.” Hinchliffe continued, “(A permanent roof) is not what the State Government sees as needed … we enjoy the fantastic background and backdrop this facility has.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)
“This is the City of the Gold Coast’s asset and if they want to do something down the track that’s a matter for them,” he said.