Friday, April 12, 2024

Indoor stadium for Deacons

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AN 800-SEAT facility that should take some of the financial strain off sports organizations should be up and running by year-end.
Director of the Urban Development Commission (UDC), Derek Alleyne, on Sunday said that plans had been drawn up, and there was already private sector commitment  to assist with the construction of an indoor stadium at Deacons,  St Michael, which he expected would take some of the pressure off the Wildey Gymnasium.
According to Alleyne, oftentimes sports clubs did not have access to the Gym, and they seldom play to a full house.
He said it would make more sense to open a smaller facility for some of the crowds that turned out, rather than incurring the associated costs  for a bigger facility.
Additionally, Alleyne said even though there might be a small crowd  in attendance all of the utilities had to be on, a full security complement had to be on duty and other amenities had  to be in place.
“You’re paying full costs for operations and you’re taking [in] at the door  $2 500 (based on takings for 500 patrons) and to run it costs $5 000. We need a facility that can cater to 800 people, and be full; so teams are playing to a full house, at manageable costs.”
Alleyne said there were a couple of companies on board who had pledged to build the stadium at no cost to the Government. Another company had offered to install the seats and flooring.
He said some of the local associations had made a request for such  a facility.
“The truth is they get  a grant from the Government and then they spend the money paying for the rental of the Gymnasium. Really they can’t use the grant they get for developmental purposes for the sport. So they’re asking for a smaller facility and we had always, at Deacons, planned to do something.
“There is a piece of land which is really adequate for it, and then there is parking available. It is not in any community that is going to be affected by the noise, except the schoolchildren, which is to the west. And the games will be played after 3. So it proved to be ideal, and the private sector felt it would be a wonderful idea, and we agreed,” Alleyne said.
The stadium is another phase of an ongoing project in Deacons. He said the UDC was working with the Vocational Training Board to offer various skills at the old primary school.

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