CWC preparations intensify
Stadium pavilions, pitch and outfield are 99% complete - Sports Minister

Kaieteur News
February 3, 2007

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With just under eight weeks remaining before the first Cricket World Cup fixture at the National Stadium at Providence (March 28), the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), its Secretariat, and all partners have intensified their efforts to ensure that Guyana's hosting will be exemplary.

This was reported to Parliament on Wednesday by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony,

who added that the LOC has established several sub-committees which include accommodation, transportation, environmental enhancement, event management, ticket sales and marketing, medical, volunteers, cricket operations, and security.

“Each of the sub-committees has prepared detailed plans, and tested these in some integration workshops.”

The Minister contended. He declared that the physical works on the Stadium's pavilions, pitch and outfield are 99% complete. “The external works around the Stadium are ongoing; the parking areas, the drains, the perimeter and internal fencing and roads are scheduled to be completed by the middle of this month. In fact, we would be substantially completed by February 6, when the ICC team is schedule to visit.”

The Minister noted that the accommodation sub-committee has been able to source several varieties of lodging.

This, he posited, will include 250 rooms at the Buddy's International Hotel, and 49 rooms at the Casique Suites and Banquet Hall.

He added that, additionally, there are another 20 small hotels in and around Georgetown that will provide suitable accommodation for visitors.

The Sports Minister articulated that, even with this increase in room stock, it would be difficult to accommodate all the expected visitors, hence the establishment of the Bed and Breakfast programme.

The programme has already contributed more that 1500 rooms to the existing accommodation stock, and more home owners are still offering rooms and being trained in hospitality skills.

Last Sunday, more than 200 persons were trained at a workshop at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence .

In the transportation sub-committee, a plan was drafted and approved by Cricket World Cup. This is aimed at minimizing traffic congestion during match days.

He pointed out that this plan was recently tested, and a few bottlenecks were identified. These have been studied by the Police Force, and counter measures have already been put in place to diminish any recurrence.

The Minister highlighted that there would be two areas for park-and-ride: one at the Joe Vieira Park, West Bank Demerara, and the other in Georgetown .

An additional 11-acre area next to the Stadium would facilitate the parking of approximately 2,500 vehicles.

The medical sub-committee is currently making preparations to equip the Stadium with medical facilities at accessible and convenient points. In addition, there would be an ‘intensive care' facility for anyone who may need urgent attention.

More than 1500 persons have been recruited as volunteers; these persons will compliment the staff on and off match days.

During his presentation, the Minister said, “The environmental enhancement that is ongoing along the East Bank of Demerara and in and around Georgetown has certainly brought a certain beauty and freshness to our city and the surrounding areas.”

The Minister informed that a number of security measures have also been addressed.

Presently, there are 350 persons from the Police and private security firms involved in intensive training for the tournament. These trained personnel will be responsible for physical security at the Stadium.