With less than four months to go before the start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be held in various venues in the Philippines, there are a lot of lingering issues and questions hounding the biennial regional sporting meet.
Here's what we know so far about the country's hosting of the 2019 SEA Games.
What should we expect from these SEA Games?
It will be the biggest SEA Games in history, with 530 events scattered across 56 events. Of those 56, 11 will be broadcast by several networks in the Philippines, including TV5 and Cignal which are the official broadcast partners.
What are the events to be broadcast on television and livestreaming?
These are aquatics (diving and swimming), athletics, badminton, basketball (5x5 and 3x3), boxing, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, taekwondo, indoor volleyball, and E-sports.
Other events will also be available through livestreaming, but the list has not yet been finalized, per Pauline Ick, Philippine South East Asian Games broadcast director.
Will all events start after the opener?
Even though the opening ceremony will be held at the Philippine Arena on November 30, there will be eleven events starting before the indoor opener.
Polo will be starting as early as November 22, while floorball, men's and women's football, and netball will kick off on the 25th, water polo on the 26th, figure skating, sailing, windsurfing, and indoor volleyball on the 28th, and beach volleyball on the 29th.
How will be traffic addressed?
According to Suzara, there are on-going discussions with the government and schools whether to suspend work and classes during the event to help ease traffic congestion. Nevertheless, there will be shuttles for media, along with dedicated lanes for them. Athletes meanwhile will be staying at hotels nearest to the venue to conserve time.
How are the sports grouped?
The 56 sports are divided into three categories.
Athletics and aquatics will make up Category 1.
Archery, badminton, basketball, baseball, softball, billiard sports, bowling, boxing, chess, cycling, dancesport, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball (beach), ice hockey, ice skating, indoor hockey, judo, karatedo, kurash, modern pentathlon, polo, rowing, rugby 7s, sailing/windsurfing, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding, soft tennis, squash, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, traditional boat race/canoe & kayak, triathlon/duathlon volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu will comprise Category 2.
For Category 3, Arnis, E-sports, floorball, jiujitsu, kickboxing, lawnbowls, netball, obstacle sports, sambo, underwater hockey, and wakeboarding.
Where will be the events be held?
Here's a tweet showing the venues for the events.
Will there be tickets?
According to PHISGOC COO Ramon "Tats" Suzara, every event will require tickets, and every ticket will come with a price. The pricing however, is still be sorted out with their official ticket partner, SM Tickets.
"If the tickets were to be made free, the sport would have no value at all," explained Suzara.
He also shared that there will be discounts available for groups, students, and persons with disabilities, but the full scope will have to be determined at a later time.
How can we reach New Clark City?
Since New Clark City (NCC) in Capas, Tarlac will be hosting aquatics and athletics, Suzara shared that the organizers will be providing shuttles for spectators going in and out of the NCC.
If one were to take their own vehicle, one may traverse NLEX, then proceed to SCTEX, then take the exit heading to NCC, which will be operational by November.
Another method is to take the Concepcion, Tarlac exit, then turn left to Capas. A sign will be built to point out the venue.
When will the closing ceremonies be held?
The SEA Games will officially close on December 11 at the Athletics Stadium in NCC.
Who will be the next hosts?
Vietnam will host the 31st edition of the SEA Games from November 21 to December 2, 2021.