Jamaica’s National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium are set to undergo redevelopment in an effort to drive more events to the Caribbean island.
The National Stadium (pictured) is housed within Independence Park and is the main venue for athletics and football in Jamaica. General manager of Independence Park, Major Desmon Brown, told local newspaper The Gleaner: “We have prepared a development plan for the National Stadium which is going to cost us about $45m (£35.3m/€40m) 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.”
The Trelawny Stadium was developed ahead of the Caribbean’s hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, but has been used sparsely since then. Brown said: “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.”
Regarding the vision behind the redevelopment plan, Brown continued: “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 added: “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 (football competition) the Gold Cup and other international activities. The Government is fully behind this and the minister of sport is pushing real hard.”
Image: Jonathan Daduut