Mon | Jun 24, 2019

Big plans for National Stadium

Published:Wednesday | October 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/ Gleaner Writer
An aerial view of the National Stadium on the final day of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships in March 2015.

General manager of Independence Park, Major Desmon Brown, says there are big plans in the pipeline for the National Stadium and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

"We have prepared a development plan for the National Stadium which is going to cost us about US$45 million and this plan will ensure that we meet all (international) requirements.

"Our seating capacity will increase to around 38,000. We also have to meet new requirements and put in facilities that athletes now demand," said Brown.

In an interview with The Gleaner on Monday, he said the Trelawny Stadium has also been included in the overall development plans.

"It wasn't really completed and we now have to put in other facilities. The Government is now looking on it as a sports tourism facility. To attract teams there (Trelawny) we have to put in certain medical facilities and a gymnasium," he added.

Brown thinks once they have these things in place they can attract a lot of support.

"We can also have a museum there and we think we can attract people from the cruise ships in Falmouth and more entertainment type activities. So we are not really looking to rebuild another National Stadium, the main focus is a training and entertainment area," he said.

While unable to give a projected income for the National Stadium in the upcoming year Brown said their numbers have increased.

"I can't give a figure off the top of my head the but I know our numbers have increased and continue to go up because we are working with our partners to achieve this," said Brown. "We hosted the recent regional playoffs of the Caribbean Women's football and we have had other events like the second round of the ISSA/Digicel schoolboy football competition."

Brown thinks his group is doing a good job in managing the National Stadium.

"I think we are doing a fairly good job but we can do more and once this redevelopment takes place we will get more support and I think we can attract the Gold Cup and other international activities.

"The Government is fully behind this and the minister of sport is pushing real hard," he said while adding that when the redevelopment is concluded there will be an increase in the amount of regional and other events taking place in Jamaica.