The Pattaya mayor is highly hopeful about the completion of the long-stalled massive football stadium in the city after securing a new specialized contractor. He vowed to finish it within 820 days.
During a visit to the “white elephant” stadium on Wednesday, September 27th, mayor Poramase Ngampiches said the city has found a new contractor to resume the stadium construction after the project has been stalled for years since it first started in 2008, due to a series of problems.
The 20,000-seat football stadium covers an area of over 371 rais (146 acres) with a budget of 774 million baht. The stadium is located in Moo 4, Huay Yai sub-district, Banglamung district, Chonburi province.
Complaints were raised that the project, which has been under construction for as long as 15 years had not yet been completed and has been left abandoned. Of particular concern is that the equipment and internal facilities within the building have been damaged due to a lack of maintenance and security. Despite this, the project’s original goal was to serve as a sports hub for both local and international competitions.
The stadium was supposed to be functional in 2017 or around 6 years ago according to an initial construction contract.
Poramase said the project was delayed primarily due to the rocky nature of the field, which made excavation difficult, as well as labor issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an investment of over 700 million baht, the project remains incomplete.
Nevertheless, the city has recently selected a new contractor to continue the project. Green Thumb Company Limited, which is described by the mayor as being a specialist in building national-scale football stadiums and has built some of the major Bangkok stadiums, will be responsible for the remaining construction from now on under a budget of 329.80 million baht.
The mega project is currently in its third phase. Poramase said he plans to expand the seating capacity by another 2,500 seats after the contractor completes the repairs to the building, sports facilities, track, and field area. All this work is scheduled to finish within 820 days from September 25th, 2023, said Poramase.
Failure to complete the project will result in the contractor having to pay a penalty of over 3 million baht per day until the job is finished. Green Thumb Company is confident about its expertise, Poramase stated.
In the meantime, the city is collaborating with the National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC) to oversee the project in order to ensure transparency and prevent any corruption.
Another white elephant project in Pattaya, the long under construction Waterfront condo at Bali Hai Pier, has been embroiled in alleged corruption scandals, even causing a former Pattaya Mayor involved with the project to flee Thailand.