The Palau d’Esports is already looking to the future. After exactly 1,414 days since its inauguration on June 20, 2018, at last, what was the star construction of the Mediterranean Games -with a regional investment of 18.4 million euros- seems to be about to leave the black tunnel in which it has remained throughout the last 46 months.
After four years of an agonizing administrative process, yesterday the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Tarragona City Council staged the agreement that will allow the Consistory to manage the Campclar Sports Ring site sine die, with the aim of opening it up to the city’s clubs Starting next September. From then on, it is estimated that every afternoon from Monday to Friday there will be more than 300 athletes using the facility from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the same price as in the rest of the municipal pavilions (eight euros per hour).
“Today is an important day. It has not been easy, but together with the Generalitat we have managed to get the Palau’s patrimonial situation off the ground”, affirmed yesterday the mayor -Pau Ricomà (ERC)- after receiving the keys to the facility from the Minister of the Presidency of the Govern, Laura Vilagrà ( CKD). The representative of the executive of Pere Aragonès recognized that “it has been a complicated procedure, which has been overcome thanks to the good cooperation between the two administrations”. According to the Generalitat, the underlying problem that has delayed the agreement was that in 2014, with the signing of “a protocol of intentions”, the construction of the Palau “was carried out on land owned by the City Council, without any effective transfer of ownership of the site in favor of neither the Generalitat nor the Consell Català de l’Esport» nor «any other legal operation of disposition on the land».
In this sense, and after a process not exempt from legal controversies, finally the agreement approved by the Saló de Plens on March 18 endorsed that the corporation of Plaça de la Font transferred on January 25 free of charge the domain of the property to the Govern, whose land is valued at 699,759 euros according to a report prepared by the Departament de Patrimoni. After the acquisition of the site –of 9,586 square metres–, the regional administration registered the new work in the Register of Ownership number 3 of Tarragona on March 7. Once the site and the building were autonomous, the management has been transferred to municipal hands through the figure of the demanial mutation.
Works in two phases
With this long administrative requirement completed, the City Council now has a free hand to be able to invest in the space, since the Govern gives up the empty sports equipment facility “so that the City Council defines the modalities that it will house,” according to Vilagrà. , who claimed the “fulfilled commitment” by the Generalitat.
Now, the objective of the City Council – which will manage the space through the Patronat Municipal d’Esports – is that the Ponent neighborhood pavilion “is ready to open it to clubs by the time the next season begins, in September,” according to the councilor of Esports, María José López (ERC). For this reason, this May, a letter will be sent to the sports entities of the city with the application sheet for the use of municipal facilities for the 2022/23 season, in which the possibility of having hours at the Palau d’Esports. «The criteria for allocating hours and days will be completely objective, technical and transparent», and «those clubs that, at present, do not occupy any facilities» will be prioritized, later distributing the schedules in June «among all the clubs that request it» Lopez details. In the coming weeks, the venue will also be shown to entities that request it.
In order to meet the horizon of putting the pavilion in the running in the fall, the local corporation is already running the process to carry out investments for a global amount of 505,000 euros: 190,000 from the 2021 budget, and 315,000 approved in a modification credit of this beginning of the year, in which for the moment the Consistory continues with the extended budget. The first phase, which will be necessary to be able to open the Palau after the summer, will be the one that will entail the execution of last year’s money, which focuses on the placement of the mobile parquet (already installed), the adaptation of the concrete pavement, the anchorage and basic sports equipment such as goals or basketball baskets. All of this, according to López, is already in the “bidding” phase. In a second phase, which will be carried out “throughout this year”, it is planned to install the fixed parquet throughout the court (which will entail the removal of the mobile, which will only be used in official basketball competitions), as well as the separating curtains of the three tracks in which the enclosure and the parquet protector will be divided.
The councilor of the PSC Berni Álvarez, who was the only mayor of the opposition who was present at the act, described the transfer of the Palau as “good news” because “the sport of the city needs it” and “it will help put the map to Tarragona within sports tourism». The socialist mayor also stressed that “with the passage of time people realize that it was a success to bet on the Mediterranean Ring.” Despite this, the representative of the PSC regrets that the Govern delivers the venue “without the bleachers or the complete parquet”, which will cause “we to start in a precarious way” and “it will be more complicated to be able to organize large events that position us”. According to the sources consulted, the City Council is negotiating with the Catalan Basketball Federation to host the next edition of the Lliga Catalana ACB, which is held in September and which would serve to present the equipment to society.
According to estimates by the management of the Patronat Municipal d’Esports, the cost of maintaining the pavilion will be around 200,000 euros per year, a figure that includes a concierge, cleaning, insurance, cleaning, water and electricity. On the other hand, the estimates of income from the rental of the tracks are around 30,000 euros per year, although María José López emphasizes that it is a “conservative” calculation.