Sunday 26 May, 2019

10,000 seats to be added to National Stadium

Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange speaks at the launch of the fourth staging of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus on May 9, 2019 (PHOTO: Shawn Barnes).

Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange speaks at the launch of the fourth staging of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus on May 9, 2019 (PHOTO: Shawn Barnes).

The capacity of Jamaica’s National Stadium is to be increased by 10,000 seats as part of an upgrade that will also see a new Royal Box being added.

To this end, the Government has signed a contract worth $30 million with Apec Consultants, to ensure that the project is properly researched before construction begins.

This was revealed on Thursday by the Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, who also announced that the Trelawny multipurpose stadium is to be upgraded with several additions, after which it will likely be named the Usain Bolt Stadium. Grange was speaking during the launch of the Adidas Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus.

Grange said the contract is for the development of financing proposals for the redevelopment, expansion, and upgrading of these two national facilities.

“It will bring the National Stadium and the Trelawny Stadium up to first world standards as we ready ourselves for the development of sports and entertainment events which are critical components of nation-building,” she said.

The minister said the consultant should present her ministry with a business plan by September, as well as the architectural design for the two facilities.

The National Stadium upgrade will see a state-of-the-art anti-doping facility added. Most of the stadium will be covered while the bleachers will be semi-covered.

“We will also have small conference rooms and facilities to have small events so that the stadium will be constantly in use because the facility will be available for rental, not just for major events but for smaller activities,” Grange pointed out.

She said the Trelawny Stadium will have a cricket academy and a running track.

“It’s strategic that we are putting in a running track as it is located in the parish of Trelawny (where Bolt is from) and we have a consent that we are discussing with a certain individual about the name of that facility once it is a state of the art facility,” said Grange.

The upgraded Trelawany facility will also boast a modern basketball arena, state of the art gym, baseball diamond and many other facilities.

Grange said the Trelawny Stadium will be promoted as the centre of sports tourism in Jamaica.

“So I am looking forward to September when we will have all the details and we will be able at that time, to indicate over what period the development of these two facilities will take place and we will be in a position to bid for international events.”

The National Stadium which was opened in 1962 has a capacity of 35,000.

The Trelawny facility which was built for the 2007 Cricket World Cup has been severely underutilised and the facilities that will be added, such as the running track and baseball diamond are expected to change that.

Minister Grange explained that the contract that was signed with Apec Consultants is in line with a programme that is facilitated by the Public Sector Investment Management Secretariat. This is the organisation that is responsible for ensuring that government investment in projects are properly researched and managed. It falls under the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

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