JIS News

A feasibility study is currently being conducted on the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, to determine how best to further develop and maximise on its existing facilities, Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange, has announced.
Despite being used for several activities, including the staging of warm-up games for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup 2007, and the second leg of Jamaica’s 2010 World Cup Football qualifying tie against the Bahamas, Miss Grange says the work on the facility is incomplete, hence “we’re looking at how we can improve it to be a truly multi-purpose facility.”
Responding to questions from journalists during Wednesday’s (Oct. 1) post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House, the Sports Minister said prior to the current administration assuming office, the facility “belonged to nobody,” and was not under the direct jurisdiction or management of any particular organisation or entity.
She disclosed that, originally, Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), had responsibility to develop a plan for the stadium, and that subsequent to the change in administration, an interim committee, chaired by Industry, Investment, and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda, was set up to determine the facility’s future.
“Mr. Samuda was asked to, along with me and a team (from the Sports Ministry), and JTI, to look at the way forward. And, the decision.was to hand over that facility to the Ministry (of Sports, which) is now responsible to chart the way forward,” Miss Grange explained.
She informed that an interim committee, which falls under the purview of Independence Park Limited (IPL) and chaired by Deputy Chairman of IPL, Cecil Warren, was established to chart the way forward. “So the management of the facility, and upkeep of it, falls within the responsibility of IPL,” the Minister added.
“There are a lot of things about the Trelawny Stadium that raise a lot of questions. We are still sorting out the relationship with the Chinese (who built it), (and) we are still sorting out releasing them from the bond. We’re still sorting out the removal of those (persons) who are on the property.there are a number of things being sorted out,” she outlined.
Meanwhile, Miss Grange advised that the cost to maintain the facility annually has been significantly reduced.
“That facility was costing $40 million annually to maintain, with no income. We have reduced that expenditure to about $12 million in maintenance. We have totally revised and changed the arrangements that were there, so it is not costing us much,” she informed.
Meanwhile, she says the facility is generating some income, as it is currently being utilised.
“The facility is being used for conventions, because you have large suites there. So it’s being used by service clubs…by Church organisations..by the police for their meetings…(and) for seminars,” Miss Grange pointed out.
Additionally, she said the facility recently staged some nine World Boxing Council Muay Tai fights, which were aired on American television sports channels, and broadcast in the United States, and globally.
“The (stadium’s) setting is ideal for sports tourism, and we are looking in that direction. But, I can assure you, right now, we are able to break even. The revenue that is coming in is what we are using to maintain the facility,” Minister Grange advised.

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