House owners encouraged to register for B&B programme
• CWC tickets still available for local fans
By Sean Devers
December 10, 2006
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) preparing Guyana for its hosting of six Super-Eight matches in the ICC 2007 World Cup from March 28 to April 9 is encouraging local house owners to register for the Bed and Breakfast program and indicated that there are still tickets available for local fans.
Chairman of the LOC Karan Singh, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr. Frank Anthony, President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Chetram Singh, LOC's Cricket Operations manager Clyde Duncan and LOC's Finance and Ticketing Manager Chateram Ramdihal were among those present at yesterday's press briefing at the LOC office in Middle Street Georgetown, 93 days before the commencement of CWC 2007.
It was stated that there has been much improvement at the Providence Stadium since the ICC Venue assessment team's last visit the facility on November 16, although the practice pitch and the field still remain critical areas of concern.
Leaked ICC report
Karan Singh noted that the contents of a leaked ICC document after their recent visit to Guyana was broadcast by a local newscast; prompting calls to him from a Jamaican radio station.
While not denying that the ICC was not satisfied with several areas as documented in the report, Singh said the required adjustments were ‘minor' and were being worked on.
“In any situation where you are building a new stadium without the day-to-day supervision of the ICC there will be things that will have to be corrected when they do their checks. We should not only focus on the negatives and in many instances we are ahead of the other stadiums in several areas” Singh claimed.
He promised to make the entire ICC report available to the media and asked that media workers call him for updates and verification before the publishing stories. Singh informed that most of the required adjustment at the stadium site should be easily completed before the February deadline, adding that apart from the outfield and the pitches, the finishing of the access road, the concrete drains, the all weather concrete pitch and the fencing are critical activities which have taken priority.
An ICC contingent will return here on February 6 for a ‘final fine tuning' exercise and according to the LOC, 40% of the activities on the check-list have been completed.
“The seating in the media center were not accepted by the ICC while the Camera positions needs to be readjusted…but these are not major worries and although rain is causing a problem, all site work should be completed by the end of January,” Singh assured.
Bed & Breakfast
Singh said that only about 1000 rooms are on the register for the Bed and Breakfast programme, which was a bit worrying. “We currently have 980 rooms available and I encourage those of you, especially on the East Bank to get more involved in this area of hospitality. The deadline for registering rooms has been pushed back to the end of January and we are looking at acquiring about 2000 rooms. I know large numbers of Guyanese should be returning for the event and will be staying with their relatives and friends. This might be a reason why more people are not making their rooms available to for the Bed and Breakfast programme,' Singh opined.
Minister Anthony disclosed that an enhancement programme has been launched to clean up the city and pointed out that work has already commenced on Avenues and the Seawall. “We want to make Georgetown beautiful not only for the world cup but after that also.” The minister said.
Pitch and field
GCB Head Chetram Singh agreed that the pitches and the field preparation is the biggest negative at the stadium but assured that a special committee to deal with this problem has been set-up, adding that concerted work has already began on the practice pitches and outfield.
“The area for the practice pitch has already been chipped and by Tuesday should be seeded and the bowlers' run-up prepared. TERAFORMA (Trinidadian company contracted to build the pitch and field) is back and already grass has covered the problematic areas on the field and the pitch has been re-grassed,” Chetram Singh updated.
Duncan informed that four additional persons have been employed to work on the practice pitches and said BWIW will be filming a documentary at the stadium next Friday. He informed that a 10-over game will be used for the filming exercise and to test the quality of the re-grassed pitch and outfield.
The Minister informed that all the sophisticated field equipment has arrived on site and workers are being trained to use them.
Karan Singh said that although he hoped that flip seats would have been used instead of the bucket seats and there are still a few things to be completed, he was fairly satisfied with the progress being made and was confident that Guyana will be a successful host nation.
Minister Anthony said of the 143 countries target to buy tickets, after two phases of the ticketing exercise have been closed the most applications have come from the United Kingdom .
In the region the most applications have come from Trinidad and Tobago , Barbados , Jamaica and Guyana in that order and disclosed that Guyana is 9th overall among the 143 countries.
He said that at the end of phase two, 50% of the tickets for Providence have been sold noting that most of those applications have been for the Category one tickets (most expensive). He said that India and South Africa will most likely clash in the March 28 opening game in Guyana and pointed out that 70% of the tickets have already been bought for that game.
According to Ramdihal, Category one tickets are still available for the possible match-up between West Indies and Sri Lanka on April 7. “This can change at the beginning of phase three (Jan 15-April 28) as we are still waiting on confirmation from sponsors and other agencies… who we were contractually obligated to allocate tickets to….as to the number of tickets that they are going to release back to public sale. In the final phase someone can buy an actual ticket and know their exact stand and seat number,” Ramdihal explained.
The ICC is presently doing evaluation and allocation of seats and fans will not know their exact seat number as yet although they will receive a souvenir model of the actual ticket shortly. No tickets are being sold during December and distribution of tickets purchased in the first two phases will begin in late January or early February.
There has been an extension to January 14 to the Corporate Package which allows businesses to purchase tickets above the maximum allocation of four per household for their staff.
Minister Anthony urged Guyanese to purchase their tickets from January 15 and not miss the chance of seeing the biggest event ever held in the region live.
Name of Stadium
There is still uncertainty surrounding the name of the stadium and while the Minister informed that ‘Providence Stadium' will be used, it was stated that no official name has yet been chosen.
Karan Singh promised to issue a press release informing of the stadium's official name as soon as a decision is reached in that regard.