Reggae Boyz victory lifts vibe for Flow Champions Cup final
Tomorrow's hosting of the Flow Champions Cup (FCC) knockout football final in Montego Bay is turning out to be better than imagined.
The prospects brightened at first when Westmoreland's Reno and home team, St James' Montego Bay United, qualified for an all-western showdown that sees the winner pocketing $1.5 million and the runners-up $440,000.
However, the championship decider for the national knockout title provided an even bigger boost with the successful staging of the CFU Men's Caribbean Cup Finals in MoBay, which ended on Tuesday night with a sixth title for hosts Jamaica, following a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Trinidad and Tobago.
"We met with the JFF and we made the decision the Tuesday after the semi-finals (November 2). It was a good decision for us to have listened and moved the final to Montego Bay," noted Naomi Francis, corporate communications manager of title sponsors Flow, about the championship match set for a 7 p.m. kick-off at Catherine Hall Sports Complex.
The final had been set for Sunday, November 16, at Harbour View Mini Stadium in east Kingston. But with the western duo knocking over all conquerors along the way, a decision was made to move the finals to the western city.
"We had originally set a Kingston final because of logistics issues for us; because we're streaming it live to five regional countries. So we'd set up fibres and everything for the live stream," Francis explained. "We did that some time in advance."
The finals will be aired on Flow Channel 100 here in Jamaica and on the Flow CC6 network in Grenada, Trinidad, Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia.
Nicole Campbell, Flow's sponsorship manager, explained that they incurred additional costs for changing the venue, but they are set to reap good value for their money.
"We had to push it a week behind and changed the venue to allow us time to get the technical side in place and to assure that the western fans were not deprived of the chance of seeing their teams play for the trophy," said Campbell.
"It cost us a lot more in terms of hosting it in MoBay, because we had to put more into it. But the fact is we wanted to end with a bang and the best place was MoBay, especially after the final (Caribbean Cup) where everyone is on a football high. So it was almost destined that we would almost use MoBay as the venue for the final," Campbell added.
With the spirit at fever pitch and building for what is expected to be an all-out battle between MoBay United and Reno, Flow will yet again add to the entertainment value with a half-time show that features one of the nation's top dancehall artistes.
"There's been a vibe around the FCC from day one. The community spirit would have been there for all the teams, the Premier League sides, they have their fans and they would have supported. For the semi-finals, we had a very good half-time show and patrons were entertained. We had Busy Signal, Ding Dong and Creature," Campbell said, reflecting on the excitement produced by the trio at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex when Reno ousted Harbour View and MoBay United eliminated Portmore United.
"For the final, we're going to have Bounty Killa and a whole vibe behind the Flow Champions Cup. It's our final show, so we really want to do a good job," she stated.