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Government puts Diamond National Stadium on hold

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Government has to make a strategic decision on the construction of the proposed National Stadium at Diamond.

This disclosure was made by Mike Browne, Minister of Sports, in the House of Assembly on Friday, October 23, 2009.{{more}}

Browne said his administration will have to decide whether to continue with the proposed stadium promised or whether to shift the resources to the development of the Arnos Vale One and other related facilities, given the imperatives created by the Cricket World Cup 2007.

“We had to address Cricket World Cup and, therefore, had to shift substantial resources in that direction,” said Browne.

Previously EC$45 to EC$50 million had been budgeted for the construction of the National Stadium.

However, when Cricket World Cup was staged, EC$55 million was spent to redevelop Arnos Vale One. The facility is incomplete and Browne estimates it will cost an additional $7 million to complete it.

“Should we invest another $50 million at this point in time when a $60 million facility is underutilized?” asked Browne.

He said at present his Ministry is trying to increase the use of the Arnos Vale facility outside the parameters of sports so that it can maximise its investment.

Browne noted that the New Democratic Party (NDP) had spent 17 years in office and had never built a stadium. Yet, he noted, they have joined the call that the stadium at Diamond is overdue.

The Sports Minister said unlike the NDP administration that had spent less than $1million per year on sports, the Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration has been spending an average of $10 million per year on Sports since coming to power.

He disclosed that the new design for the proposed stadium has been completed, but the government will be revising the original basis on which the stadium was contemplated. (HN)

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