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D-day for Jarrett Park

Published:Monday | February 14, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Montego Bay Mayor Charles Sinclair (right), chairman for the local organising committee for the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, makes a point to CONCACAF's director of marketing and television, Manolo Zubiria (centre) and Howard McIntosh, head of the Jamaica Football Federation's technical committee, during a tour of Jarrett Park near mid-January. - photo by Adrian Frater

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

Jamaica's bid to stage a successful 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship is expected to fall back into line by midday today, as the infrastructural work being done at Jarrett Park is slated to finish before the tournament starts officially at 12:30 p.m. at the Catherine Hall Stadium.

Following last Wednesday's rejection of the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, which the CONCACAF inspection team described as unfit to host games, Jarrett Park got the green light as a replacement, pending certain infrastructural adjustments.

"The CONCACAF asked us to put in an enclosed VIP area, a press centre and a medical station, in addition to any minor works," said Montego Bay Mayor Councillor Charles Sinclair, who heads the tournament's local organising committee (LOC).

"Through the Ministry of Sports, the Sports Development Foundation and the St James Parish Council, the required resources were identified and the project started."

When The Gleaner visited Jarrett Park on Saturday afternoon, except for fine-tuning work on the playing surface, no major infrastructural work was seen taking place.

However, Sinclair said there was no need for undue alarm as the project was on target.

Temporary structures

"What we are putting in are temporary structures and we have an experienced contractor dealing with that," said Sinclair. "All the work should be ready for the park to be in use before the tournament's opening game, which will be played at the Catherine Hall Stadium, starting at 12:30 p.m. on Monday (today)."

Explaining the scope of work for Jarrett Park, Sinclair said the media centre, which is to host the local and international media, will be a tent located on the roof of the building housing the changing rooms.

"On completion, the press centre will have all that is required to meet the needs and comfort of a working journalist," said Sinclair. "All is in place to put in the required infrastructure and electrical works."

Rergarding the VIP area and medical station, which will also be temporary structures, the mayor said those areas have been identified and it was only for the contractor to get the job done.

"We have identified the area for the VIP section which will house the dignitaries and we have no concerns about getting it ready as we have an experienced contractor on the job," Sinclair stated confidently. "The situation is much the same for the medical area."

If given the all-clear by the inspection committee today, Jarrett Park, which was initially rejected as a match venue, will first see action on Wednesday in the form of a double-header featuring El Salvador versus Haiti at 12:30 p.m. and Panama versus Cuba at 4:30 p.m.