UNDER RENOVATION. For now, the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium in Ilocos Norte is off-limits to the public while major improvements and preparations are ongoing inside the facility. The renovated stadium is expected to open in time for the mass inauguration of newly elected officials of Ilocos Norte on June 27, 2022 and not in July as earlier reported. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Norte government is set to reopen its larger and improved sports stadium named after Ilocos Norte’s favorite son later this month, the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.

Three years ago, the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium was among the government infrastructure projects that were hit hard by supertyphoon Ompong with blown-off roofings and shattered windows.

But on June 27, 2022, officials and residents here will witness its soft opening to give way to the mass inauguration of the new set of elected leaders.

According to Ilocano architect Felino Palafox Jr., who worked on the Ilocos Norte tourism plan in 2010 during the first term of then Governor and now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, visiting and living in the province these days is exciting considering the many improvements that are taking place and the several infrastructure facilities that will be in place to enhance the aesthetics of Ilocos Norte and make it safe and convenient for everyone.

He is referring to the nearing completion of the green infrastructure projects of the current administration which include the Provincial Capitol expansion building, reconstruction of the Dap-ayan Center, and the major facelift of the sports stadium with a total budget of PHP2 billion.

"After undergoing a major redevelopment in 2019, a larger and improved sports stadium will reopen soon in the heart of the capital city of Ilocos Norte,” said a statement posted on the official Facebook page of the Ilocos Norte government.

As seen in a video presentation on Wednesday, construction workers were working double-time to make the stadium presentable in time for the mass inauguration of elected officials.

Movable bleachers were already in place. This came following an initial inspection conducted by personnel from the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office and the Provincial Engineering who have teamed up to prepare the venue.

According to Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, the sports stadium will be reopening soon to the public to serve as an exercise hub for all.

Aside from hosting sports events, the Marcos stadium will remain a training ground for athletes and a regular hangout for runners and Zumba dancers of all ages.

This time, a bigger stage platform is being prepared for large events like the mass inauguration of the elected officials. (PNA)