ICC CWC 2007 press briefing
Intensity to be maintained
• Dr. Frank Anthony
By Rawle Welch
February 3, 2007
“We are not leaving anything to chance, we will be continuing our intensity,” were the soothing words expressed by Chairman of the LOC for CWC 2007, Dr. Frank Anthony during yesterday's weekly press briefing which was held at the Guyana National Stadium.
Dr. Anthony, who is also Minister of Culture, Youth & Sports, was giving an update about Guyana's preparedness for CWC 2007 which is a mere 36 days away. Also, in attendance were CEO Karan Singh and PRO Richard Haniff.
BED AND BREAKFAST
The Chairman said that at present there are 1,654 rooms registered which signaled a steady improvement with the amount being available and has registrants from as far as Linden . He indicated that in addition, some twenty-plus hotels have also registered, bringing some level of comfort to the LOC with regards to satisfying the demands for fans and visitors accommodation.
According to Dr. Anthony, training for the B&B providers has already started with the first held on January 28, while more will be conducted on February 11, 24 and 25.
He, however, disclosed that those dates are tentative and subject to change.
Additionally, the Chairman informed that Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) has indicated their willingness to provide B&B registrants with coverage in the event of any losses.
The LOC head revealed that the proposed Park and Ride facility has been approved by CWC 2007 and the local transport department has developed a design for that project.
“We are now of the firm view that we will have two (2) Park and Ride and one (1) Park and Walk facilities.”
The site next to Buddy's International Hotel and Resort has been identified for that venture which he made known is about 11 acres in size and capable of holding in the vicinity of 2500 vehicles.
The Chairman said that the grading of the facility is currently underway and sand is to be inserted shortly. Plans to have an organisation take over and manage this facility are also being discussed presently, he added.
Another plan being worked on is to sell tickets for the use of this facility before hand because it is felt that it would significantly reduce traffic congestion on match day.
REGULATION OF TRAFFIC
The results of the ‘dry run' that was done recently is currently being studied by the Police following which, they will formalise their strategies to combat any eventualities.
The third phase, which started Thursday, saw quite a good response from the public despite minor glitches, the Chairman said.
CEO Karan Singh immediately apologised for the inconvenience caused to patrons who sought to purchase tickets but could not get them which he attributed to some technical problems that had surfaced. The problem has since been rectified. Singh indicated that it was no fault of the LOC since they are not directly responsible for ticket sales, but are merely facilitators of the process.
He, however, promised to have a booth set up in front of the Head Office which will be manned by his staff who will advise patrons on how to purchase their tickets.
It was intimated that tickets for all categories are still available and during this period persons now have the opportunity to buy twenty (20) tickets at one time.
Tickets can be bought in local currency at the official rate of $1US=$207Guy.
With this being one of the most contentious issues arising out of the ICC Venue Assessment Team's visit last November, the Chairman emphatically declared that “we are ready,” referring to the outfield and pitch preparations, which he indicated were in excellent condition.
Dr. Anthony said they were on schedule and don't foresee any difficulty in meeting the required deadlines in any area. He disclosed that they were hoping that by February 5, they would have advanced substantially the work on the perimeter fencing, internal roads and other related areas.
Over twenty-five (25) supervisors from private firms have commenced training in spectator safety and security, while preparations are continuing for the conduct of Oriel's exercise for all security and safety personnel.
OFFICIAL MASCOTT'S ‘Mello' VISIT
The official Mascot of CWC 2007 ‘Mello' is expected in Guyana from February 15-24 and will be visiting a number of schools and the regions as well as being an integral part of our Mashramani celebrations.
SITE HANDING OVER
The site is expected to be handed over to GL- (Firm responsible for installing food stands, catering booths etc) on February 13, before tendering it to the Government, who will then give the entire stadium to CWC 2007 on February 19. The Venue Assessment Team arrives in Guyana on February 6.