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Consultants brought in for Jamaican stadium project

The Jamaican government has signed a contract with Apec Consultants to investigate extensive redevelopment of the country’s National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium.

The J$30m (£169,000/€195,000/$220,000) deal with Apec will see the company develop financing proposals for the redevelopment, expansion, and upgrading of the two stadia.

Major Desmon Brown, general manager of Independence Park, which houses the National Stadium, revealed in October that the two stadia would undergo redevelopment in an effort to drive more events to the Caribbean island.

The National Stadium (pictured) is the main venue for athletics and football in Jamaica. Opened in 1962, it has a current capacity of 35,000 but Sports Minister Olivia Grange has said an extra 10,000 seats will be added, along with a new Royal Box.

The National Stadium will also receive a state-of-the-art anti-doping facility, while work will be carried out to ensure most of the venue will be covered. “We will also have small conference rooms and facilities to have small events so that the stadium will be constantly in use because the facility will be available for rental, not just for major events but for smaller activities,” said Grange, according to the Loop Jamaica website.

Trelawny Stadium was developed ahead of the Caribbean’s hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, but has been used sparsely since then. Grange said the new-look stadium will include a cricket academy, running track, a basketball arena, state of the art gym and baseball diamond. It will also reportedly be renamed Usain Bolt Stadium once completed.

“It’s strategic that we are putting in a running track as it is located in the parish of Trelawny (where Bolt is from) and we have a consent that we are discussing with a certain individual about the name of that facility once it is a state of the art facility,” said Grange.

Grange stated that Apec is set to present her ministry with a business plan by September, as well as the architectural design for the two facilities. “It will bring the National Stadium and the Trelawny Stadium up to first world standards as we ready ourselves for the development of sports and entertainment events which are critical components of nation-building,” she said.

“So I am looking forward to September when we will have all the details and we will be able, at that time, to indicate over what period the development of these two facilities will take place and we will be in a position to bid for international events.”

Image: Jonathan Daduut