Floodlights for Kensington Oval
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
January 8, 2003

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Floodlights, to facilitate the playing of One-Day Internationals and the hosting of other events at night, will be part of proposals in the Government-assisted expansion and redevelopment of Kensington Oval ahead of the 2007 World Cup.

President of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), Stephen Alleyne, noting Government's promise to acquire land and relocate houses around the famous Test venue to enhance Barbados' bid to host major World Cup matches, said the installation of lights, would also be imperative.

“I think it will be important that whatever facility is constructed be capable of being used for a variety of purposes because this single use, three-days-a-year model, to which I refer, is not sustainable,” Alleyne said.

“So we have to create a design and a structure which is capable of supporting other sporting events, entertainment, a whole variety of purposes,” Alleyne remarked, noting conferences can be held there during the day.

“We need to see some configuration, which at present, Kensington doesn’t lend itself to and of course lights will have to be part of it to host the evening’s entertainment.

“So I would expect that the further development will see the incorporation of lights at Kensington,” Alleyne said.

“Some of the things that are needed, for instance, we need to have lights. We need to have a surface which would be situated in such a way that it could be used for a whole set of purposes.

“Right now, the way things are, it is very difficult to accommodate trucks and big stages and I hope that would be part of the development plan,” added Alleyne

Alleyne, an actuary, also explained the challenge that faces investment at Kensington Oval.

“When the BCA attempts to attract an investor to put up a stand at Kensington Oval as it now is, that stand will face the possibility of being occupied for about three days of the year, maximum,” Alleyne remarked.

“The first day or two of the Test match and maybe a day for a One-Day so you invested in real estate which in the current condition will be occupied for three days of the year,” added Alleyne.

“Of the income which comes from those three days, because of the current situation under which cricket is administered in the Caribbean, the vast majority of that revenue accrues to anybody, other than the BCA or indeed the investor,” Alleyne pointed out.

“For an investor to recognise a value from his investment there will have to be significant other long-term impacts. During the English cricket tour, for instance in Barbados, during that week, the Barbadian economy as a whole benefits to an extent that makes that week the best week we have for the year.

“Against that background therefore, I think that it is appropriate that your tax dollars and mine, because we benefit in the long run, also be invested back into it,” Alleyne contended.

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