President of the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK) Urmas Sõõrumaa has proposed to the state to support private sports facilities in a time of crisis.
"I propose supporting sporting infrastructure in the order of €1 per square meter. This would help sports facilities be sustainable after the end of the crisis and keep servicing people in an area of importance, as public health is," Sõõrumaa wrote in a proposal sent to the culture ministry.
The president of the EOK pointed out that there are some 3000 sports facilities in Estonia, 600 of which are private property and the rest in the hands of local governments or the state. According to the sports registry, the total area of indoor sports facilities concerns 728,398 square meters, 312,864 square meters of which are private property.
"The public sector is keeping infrastructure it owns sustainable during a crisis, but those privately held are left on their own, with closed doors. I believe that a state that accepts various forms of ownership should not discriminate between public and private property as the latter has provided them with necessary services and income, all the more so since the contribution of private investors has saved the state millions of euros on investments," Sõõrumaa said.
According to Sõõrumaa, the administrative cost of a sport facility is €2 per square meter (heating, electricity, water, surveillance, insurance). If the state would cover half of the cost, the sports facilities in private hands could survive the difficult times, the president said.
Sõõrumaa himself owns, for example, Tondi Tennisekeskuse OÜ.
Editor: Anders Nõmm