Guyana gains financially From CWC
– over 50,000 paying spectators

Kaieteur News
April 12, 2007

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Some fifty thousand paying spectators attended the six Cricket World Cup (CWC) matches recently held in Guyana , which generated sizeable revenue in ticket sales for the country.

Describing the hosting of the event as a success story, President Jagdeo yesterday told media operatives that while he could not provide the exact figure, the contribution to the national coffers from ticket sales is substantial.

In this regard, he reiterated that the expenditure for hosting the mega-event was not only necessary, but justified.

He pointed out that Guyana has benefited in a number of aspects.

Highlighting a few of the positives, the President noted that Guyana now has a replacement for Bourda, which has almost outlived its usefulness.

“If we wanted as a country to be able to continue hosting Test cricket, and put in good bids, we had to substantially upgrade Bourda or build a new stadium, and when we examined it, it was more feasible to build an independent new facility… it was necessary to secure Test cricket way into the future… for the next fifty or hundred years for our children and grandchildren.. no longer can countries say Test cricket cannot come to Guyana because of the poor drainage systems ..we demonstrated that minutes after a huge downpour, the field was hard .”

The President also stressed that the organsiational skills that were instituted at all levels will serve in improving the country which will continue to see the benefits long into the future

“From the police level, training for terrorism, to organize large events has added a new dimension to the police force… the taxi drivers and the thousands of volunteers benefited tremendously too.

He also noted that the CWC triggered a lot of investments, since persons were afforded duty free concessions to build facilities.

“Many of them would have made some investment in the country but the triggering factor was the cricket.”

The President acknowledged that it now presents a challenge to secure continued patronage to the hotels but stated that it is one that can be surmounted

“If we're speaking about improving the tourism industry we have to market these places, and now that we have more infrastructure, we can go out and bid for more events”

Noting that persons made huge investments in catering for the Bed and Breakfast accommodation, the president said even though returns in this aspect was not fully realized, it was a necessary investment.

“Just imagine, if we had not encouraged this and if India was not removed from the competition and had got here and needed 2,000 places to stay… they would have said we didn't prepare well… I asked the LOC several times if there was a commitment made… in fact the government spent money in putting up a website to market the B&B program … These are the variables of the game… we could not anticipate that some of the big teams would go early which cause us to lose out on business here.”

Commenting on the struggle to find adequate accommodation during the recently held Rio Summit, the President pointed out that the situation will be vastly different come September, when Guyana is scheduled to host the Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting at which 55 countries will participate.

More importantly, the positive image of the country which has been displayed internationally, the President noted, cannot be quantified.

He pointed out that it cost millions to advertise in the international media but Guyana was on show for several days.

“If you had to spend that money to get that publicity across the world it would run into more than we spent on building the stadium.”

Commenting on the high prices of tickets, Jagdeo said that even though many countries argued for higher prices, Guyana held its ground that they should be lower. However a standard price had to be agreed on.

When international games are hosted and organized by a common committee, individual countries has no control over pricing, the president noted.

Despite Guyana 's limited per capita GDP and all the criticism levied at the country about its economic situation, Jagdeo said he is pleased that there was a good showing at almost all the matches.