Tue | Jan 25, 2022

Work to start soon on trainers’ pavilion

Published:Sunday | May 9, 2021 | 12:28 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Solomon Sharpe, chairman of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), said construction work on a brand new BetMakers trainers’ pavilion will commence shortly at Caymanas Park.

The construction of the facility is part of a $75-million sponsorship agreement that SVREL’s parent company, Supreme Ventures Limited, signed with Australia-based international betting company, BetMakers Technology Group, in December last year.

Sharpe told The Sunday Gleaner that the spike in COVID-19 cases at the start of the year forced his organisation to delay construction on the pavilion. He also stated that they should soon be granted the relevant clearances from Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) and the Portmore Municipal Council, which will pave the way for work to begin.

“The first proposal is that we were going to make it out of containers, which would have taken under less than a month,” said Sharpe.

“However, we have evaluated the position to take something more long term and sustainable, which is to go with a concrete structure. In order to get these projects done, there are a lot of projects that are happening and there is the whole coronavirus (pandemic) and the number (of cases) kind of spiked around February, when we revisited these plans,” Sharpe said.

Get it approved

“We have gone through a lot and we are now comfortable, the last part of the design is being done, it will be ready within the next 10 days, and once that is done, then we have to take it to the project management committee of CTL, who are our landlords, to ratify and then we will take it to the parish council to get it approved,” Sharpe added.

He added that once all the approvals are given, he expects the work to be completed in time for the Jamaica Derby in August.

“I think once we put pedal to the metal, we are hoping that we can get all of this done before Jamaica Derby day in August,” Sharpe said. “We think that once we start construction, then we can get it done in eight weeks, and so that puts us at June and July, and so we are going to push through to get everything done within the next couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, Sharpe noted that the procurement process for the new digital tote board has been completed and it is currently being manufactured by an overseas company.

A tote board is an easily identifiable numeric or alphanumeric display that is used to provide race day information such as results, odds, and payouts for each horse in a race.

The old tote board, which was demolished in February, stood for more than 30 years at Caymanas Park and had been out of service since August 2019. The new digital board will cost $40 million.