THE United Football League (UFL) has struck a deal to make as its home the artificial pitch that will be constructed by real-estate giant Megaworld at the McKinley Hill in Taguig City.
Work on the P1.5-billion project has been fast-tracked for the field to be completed by October before the start of the 2012-2013 UFL season. The field’s bleachers section that could accommodate up to a crowd of 2,000 is also expected to be finished before the end of the year.
The UFL welcomed the deal, saying it addresses the league’s problems on the lack of pitches as well as improve the quality of play in the league.
Under the deal, the UFL will have priority on the use of the field for the next four years.
“We’re excited to have a field of our own,” said UFL President Santi Araneta shortly after signing the memorandum of agreement with Megaworld officials at the Genting Place at the Resorts World.
Also signing the deal for the UFL were Marketing Director Javi Mantecon and UFL President Randy Roxas and Megaworld’s Kendrick Tan, CFO Lourdes Torres and SVP Philipps Cando.
The MOA would be coterminous with the league’s television deal with AKTV, said Araneta. The field, which will be 97x60 meters, is being built to conform with international standards.
“A sign of bigger things to come,” said Roxas. “After the signing, the real work begins.”
The UFL holds most of its big matches at the University of Makati field because of the recent inavailability of the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Several second division games are also held at the Turf as well as at the Nomads Sports Club in Parañaque.
“We are happy to be part of the growth of football in the country,” Tan said, hinting that the McKinley field may not only be the last football-related project that Megaworld will undertake.
“We might be able to put up permanent facilities. This may just be one of the many of the company’s endeavors,” he added.
“We are committed in ensuring the viability of football in the Philippines,” said Jericho Go, Megaworld’s first vice president. “The facility puts us in the right direction.”