Sport: Pacific Games venues to be tested this weekend

11:22 am on 9 June 2015

A number of Pacific Games venues will receive their first big test this weekend, with a series practice events in Port Moresby.

The Sir John Guise Outdoor Stadium, which will host the Games' opening and closing ceremonies, is among the venues being used for the first time, with the Papua New Guinea Hunters seeking a seventh straight win against the Souths Logan Magpies.

The Sir John Guise Stadium will host the 2015 Pacific Games opening and closing ceremonies.

The Sir John Guise Stadium will host the 2015 Pacific Games opening and closing ceremonies. Photo: 2015 Pacific Games

The CEO of the Games Organising Committee, Peter Stewart, says it's an important step with less than four weeks until the main competition begins.

"They range from full-on elite-level competition to school competitions. They give us an opportunity to test the fields of play [and] make sure they're suitable. It gives us an opportunity to put a crowd into the venues so we're certainly very interested in doing that. It gives people a chance to have a look at the venues so we know there will be photos going everywhere on social media, showing what these venues are, and we think that's fantastic because it will show just the quality of venues where people are going to be able to come and that of course helps with ticket sales".

More than 180 thousand tickets have been sold so far with about 500,000 tickets still available.

Peter Stewart says swimming is already sold out, helped by former Commonwealth Games champion Ryan Pini's decision to come out of retirement on home soil.

"Certainly in PNG, Ryan having his swansong so to speak is going to be great for the sport but also with swimming you're right in the action. The crowd is right next to the athletes and it's a very close, intimate environment. The main smaller venue events - particularly weightlifting, basketball, volleyball - they're selling out very quickly. The weightlifting is about 90 percent sold out but we have plenty of tickets available for soccer, softball, lawn bowls, touch football, athletics and rugby sevens and rugby nines, which are [being played at] big venues that can accomodate a number of people".