The grand event of the FIFA U-17 World Cup is set to take place at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (GBT) in Surabaya on November 10, 2023. In preparation for this event, representatives from the East Java-Bali National Road Implementation Center (BBPJN) and the creative team for the U-17 World Cup opening ceremony conducted an inspection at GBT Stadium in Surabaya on Friday morning, September 29, 2023.

Wiwiek Widayati, the Head of the Department of Culture, Youth, Sports, and Tourism (Disbudporapar) of Surabaya, mentioned that the visit of the East Java-Bali BBPJN team is a follow-up to the visit by the Director General of Human Settlements, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), Diana Kusumastuti, and her team on Thursday, September 28, 2023.

"The East Java and Bali National Road Implementation Center (BBPJN) visited Surabaya to discuss the parking facilities that are currently being worked on by the city administration and BBPJN. Technically, their field visit is to assess and calculate what needs to be done together within a very tight timeline," said Wiwiek.

Furthermore, Wiwiek revealed that the Surabaya City Government also welcomed another group of guests, the creative team led by Wishnutama as the creative director for the performances in the U-17 World Cup opening ceremony.

"A representative from one of the creative teams conducted area mapping to plan the opening ceremony's execution. This includes attractions, the main stage, lighting, artists, and more. They also identified which areas and spaces can be utilized for their activities," she explained.

Therefore, Wiwiek assured that the Surabaya City Government is fully prepared to welcome the U-17 World Cup. The facilities and infrastructure of GBT Stadium in Surabaya are ready for use as the venue for the U-17 World Cup matches on November 10, 2023. Especially due to the fact that GBT Stadium in Surabaya serves as the home base for the Indonesian U-17 National Team in Group A of the preliminary rounds.

"Overall, the Surabaya City Government is ready to welcome the U-17 World Cup. These visits are dedicated to perfect GBT," she emphasized.

Meanwhile, Lilik Arijanto, the Head of the Department of Water Resources and Civil Engineering of Surabaya City (DSDABM), explained that the visit by the East Java-Bali BBPJN team is for collaboration with the Surabaya City Government, particularly in creating parking areas.

"Based on the assessment, the parking facilities must be completed before the FIFA requirements, so we divided the work into two parts. The eastern side will be handled by the city government, while the western side will be assisted by BBPJN. They have expressed their readiness to help us complete it before the deadline set by FIFA," said Lilik.

Lilik further explained that during the parking area construction process, the Surabaya City Government will complete the VVIP parking area, while the East Java-Bali BBPJN will work on the parking area for officials. The total area for parking to be developed is 22,000 square meters, meaning that the parking area construction will be divided into two sections, each covering 11,000 square meters.

"The area being worked on by the city government is currently being leveled, and this leveling work is complete. So, the construction of the parking area will begin next week," he said.

On the other hand, there are several areas of focus for improvement before the U-17 World Cup takes place. One of these is the entrance road to the GBT Stadium in Surabaya. The entrance road will be made level to ensure easy access for drivers entering the stadium. Additionally, DSDABM of Surabaya City is preparing side drains, and both projects are expected to be completed next week.

"The adjustment of the entrance road on the western side has a somewhat steep elevation, so we need to level it to avoid difficulties for drivers. Apart from parking, we are also preparing the side drains. We are working on all of it, and it should be completed next week," he explained.

However, Lilik assured that the overall readiness at GBT Stadium in Surabaya for the U-17 World Cup is already complete. He hopes that with the ongoing improvements, the facilities and infrastructure at GBT Stadium in Surabaya can be maximized for the FIFA matches to be held in the City of Heroes.

"We have prepared everything overall. We have also gone through several stages of evaluation for FIFA's major tournaments. The evaluation covers all of these processes," he concluded. (*)