National Stadium to be refurbished in a phased approach says manager

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – General manager of the Jamaica National Stadium, Major Desmond Brown, said that reconstructing the venue with all the modern features would cost US $350 million.

He said however, that Independence Park Limited, the operator of the stadium, agreed to a phased renovation of the facility, and was awaiting Government clearance and funding for the work to start.

“As a country, it would be difficult to find those kinds of resources,” Brown told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. “Remember, Independence Park does not have events. What we do is rent the stadium and people have events, so that money goes back to them, not us.

“Currently, we get 30 per cent from the Government to run the facility. That’s the operating cost. All the capital costs would come from the Government. Fixing the pool and all of those things have to come from the Government.”

Brown said that the stadium is practically a rental-only venue and this is one of the challenges to Independence Park raising revenue.

“A stadium only becomes profitable when you have your own team,” he said. “For instance, the Indianapolis Colts (the American football team in the United States) have their own stadium.

“They have 50 matches every year. They know that 25 of those are home matches. You sell most of the tickets before and have a fixed income. You have advertisers who are in the stadium full time.”

Brown added: “When you go to our stadium, it’s always empty because everybody comes there with their own different advertisers. The only time a stadium becomes profitable is when you have your own team and you have a certain number of matches and you can plan around that.”

The Jamaica National Stadium is part of the Independence Park complex which also includes a swimming pool, indoor arena, as well as outdoor netball and basketball courts.

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