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Gitmo getting pricier with $744K soccer pitch

Military says exercise makes prisoners easier to handle.

Gitmo soccer fieldEnlarge
A $744,000 "super-rec" field allows Guantanamo Bay prisoners to exercise and play soccer. (Pentagon/Courtesy)

The most expensive prison in the world got a little pricier Tuesday after the US military unveiled a new $744,000 soccer field for “compliant” inmates at Guantanamo Bay.

The pitch replaces a bare patch of dirt prisoners lost when the military closed the prison’s Area 4, the Washington Post said.

Chain-link fences topped by barbed wire surround the 28,000-square-foot “super-rec” area. Two guard towers, lights and surveillance equipment monitor inmates below.

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“Detainees will reach the field by walking through covered walkways that the military is calling ‘habitat trails’ — rather like the tunnel to the pitch at, say, Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, but without the crowds,” the Post’s Peter Finn writes.

More than 80 per cent of Gitmo’s 171 inmates who call the prison’s Area 6 home should have access to the gravel-covered pitch and exercise equipment, The Associated Press said. The walls, however, screen views of the Caribbean.

Fox News said the field keeps prisoners in line, which makes life easier for guards. The detainees could get as many as 20 hours access per day, Fox News reported, through secured passages that don’t require escort.

The military blames the high cost on transportation expenses to the Cuban outpost. Goal posts are set to arrive in April.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/120229/gitmo-getting-pricier-744k-soccer-pitch