The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has tapped Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City as site for its planned hosting of the four-nation Long Teng Cu bootfest featuring Phl, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Macau.
PFF president Nonong Araneta said instead of holding it Manila, they have decided to bring the Long Teng to Bacolod as the City of Smiles is more feasible in terms of financial requirements.
Additionally, he said the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium's scheduled conversion into an artificial turf beginning next month may not be finished in time for the tourney, which the PFF targets to stage from Oct. 3-7.
"We are already communicating with Chinese Taipei, that if we'll host the Long Teng Cup, we'll hold it in Bacolod. If they're okay with it, then we'll go ahead (with the Cup) in Bacolod," said Araneta.
He said the hosting in Panaad, largely considered the birthplace of the Azkals, is estimated to cost P5-6 million, inclusive of food and accommodation of the delegates plus match officials, and logistical requirements such as security.
This amount, he explained, is substantially lower than the estimate if the tourney were to be staged in Manila.
"If we hold it in Manila, we'll reach P9 million, which includes P2-million plus on security alone. People in Bacolod said they can do the security at about P300,000 to P400,000 so we'll have substantial savings already on that item," said Araneta, who's confident to get sponsors for the event.
Another factor that swayed it to the side of Panaad is the availability of Rizal Memorial.
The Long Teng Cup, or whatever the name the PFF will eventually use for the meet, should serve as one of the final build-up for the Azkals before they do battle in the AFF Suzuki Cup in late November.
"Hopefully, the Long Teng Cup this will be a good preparation for our actual team that will play in the Suzuki Cup," said Araneta.
The Azkals placed second to Hong Kong last year in the single-round-robin format Long Teng Cup in Kaoshiung, a one-spot improvement from their third place finish in the inaugural edition in 2010, also in Kaoshiung.