Construction games

Santiago de Chile starts preparation for the Pan American Games.

Santiago de Chile is preparing to host the largest sporting event in its history: The Pan American and Parapan American Games of Santiago 2023. More than 8,000 athletes from 41 countries are expected for the event to be held between 11 municipalities in the Metropolitan Region, and 5 in the Valparaíso Region. 10 new venues are to be built with another 6 be refurbished.

The total budget allocated is USD 507 million, half of what it cost Lima to stage the same event in 2019.

According to an executive of a construction firm involved in the project, “The main commitment of the Government is to build an important Pan-American village that will house more than 7,000 athletes and that will remain after the games as social housing to be inhabited by more than 15,000 low-income families, who will apply to one of the apartments built through state subsidies.”

A senior sports executive in Chile believes the construction will received more attention than the sport, “Unfortunately, the 2023 Pan American Games will attract little attention from the general public. If anything, most of the attention will be placed on the construction and subsequent settlement of the Pan American Village. There are relatively few Pan-American sports that attract massive audiences, these games are much less attractive than the football championships that virtually paralyse the city.”

“Unfortunately, the 2023 Pan American Games will attract little attention from the general public. […] There are relatively few Pan-American sports that attract massive audiences.”

Senior sports executive, Chile

This wasn’t surprising to a construction executive involved in the Pan American Village, “Many families are expected to live in the construction of the social apartments for decades. This real estate project will have greater visibility and will transcend in time much more than the Pan American Games themselves.”

The site of the village is the old Cerrillos park, where an airport used to exist and where it has long been planned to build social housing. The construction executive told us, “It was not particularly difficult to integrate the design into the urban landscape, although the new location has drawn criticism for the greater distance to the nearest metro station: 2.3km.”

“The current government has run numerous fast and efficient tenders, encouraging private participation.”

Lawyer, Santiago de Chile

The majority of the tenders are well-advanced and close to conclusion, a local lawyer reported, “There are few construction opportunities still open. The current government has run numerous fast and efficient tenders, encouraging private participation in projects that could expose the state to unexpected delays and costs.”

With most minds in Chile understandably occupied by constitutional reform and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember other projects are still moving ahead.


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