WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 7) - Concern is growing that the South Pacific Games may have become too big for most regional countries to host.

The games, now under way in Suva, have brought together more than 4,000 competitors and officials from 22 countries.

The Fiji games are costing at least US$31 million, including sporting facilities given by China, money from the Fiji government, corporate sponsorship of seven million dollars and Suva City Council upgrading costing $3 million.

A longtime games observer and athletics statistician, Bob Snow, told the Sunday (Fiji) Times that the games have become a very big and grand sporting event with many countries using them to make political statements.

The next games will be held in Samoa and already that country is reported to be saying that they will host a much bigger and better event than the current one in Fiji.

Snow said it is time to rethink the games mission and concentrate on making them more athlete oriented rather than facility oriented.

July 7, 2003

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