Macau’s former sports chief Manuel Silverio has suggested moving the Macau Grand Prix from its traditional Guia Circuit on the Macau peninsula to Cotai, the city’s gaming precinct.
Silverio, who headed the Macau Sports Bureau (ID) between 1996 and 2008, made the suggestion in an interview broadcast by the Portuguese-language channel of public broadcaster TDM on Saturday.
In the Radio Macau interview, Silverio said that now was “perhaps” the right time to think about a new circuit for the annual motorsport road race for automobiles and motorcycles, “for example, around Cotai, because this would relieve Macau residents and tourists’ many headaches.”
The Macau Grand Prix has been held on a street circuit around Guia Hill since 1954. The four-day event – including two days of training races and qualifiers – requires the day-time closing of the circuit to normal traffic, causing colossal traffic jams, changes in public bus routes and other inconveniences to the general public.
The retired civil servant also called for the construction of a sports hall in the densely populated northern district of the peninsula, such as at the former greyhound racing track.
Silverio also called for the professionalisation of the Macau Football Association and the construction of more football pitches.
In the FIFA World Ranking, Macau is ranked 182nd among the global football body’s 210 members.
Silverio also said that Macau should persist in joining the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Unlike Hong Kong, which joined the organisation in 1951, Macau’s application submitted in 1987 has been unsuccessful.
Silverio urged the government to privatise the operations of the East Asian Games Dome in Cotai, which was built for the East Asian Games hosted by Macau in 2005. He also suggested that the government set up an independent entity that could help achieve the government’s “ambitious” aim of holding an international sports event every month. Silverio called the aim, which the government announced last month in its 2020 policy guidelines, “a tad optimistic and ambitious.”