Why is the Mackenzie Sports Club asking such a high price?

Dear Editor,

This year’s Linden Town Week celebrations have already ignited a great deal of excitement and interest locally, regionally and internationally from Guyanese around the globe, especially Lindeners. The new format undertaken by the newly elected mayor and council of tendering out the various activities has already proven to be in the township’s favour.

It was made public recently that the council had awarded a major activity, ‘The All Black Party’ to the Right Start Organization for a whopping $3.6 million dollars. This was a sum far greater than the council expected, for it initially started at $1 million.

The holder of this year’s franchise in my estimation clearly over bid. They outbid the previous holder of this event by $1.4 million dollars. What is shocking is the appalling and mind-boggling price the management of the Mackenzie Sport Club (MSC) is asking the young promoters to pay; it is most disgusting and unbelievable. Editor, if I were to ask you or your readership to summon a guess at the asking price for the rental of this underdeveloped facility, I’m most certain you would be unable to come remotely close. The management of the MSC ground had the audacity to tell the Mayor and Town Council representatives who were negotiating on behalf of the promoters, that they should pay $2.1 million. Hence $1.6 million is for rental and there is a $500,000 cautionary deposit with the condition that if a bottle is left on the ground it is forfeited to MSC management.

This proposition by the club’s management is nothing but absurd and utterly ridiculous. This facility is not only in dire need of an upgrade, but it also needs new leadership. This facility is the only place where most of the activities, be it sports, religious and other social events are held due to its capacity and the fact that it is fenced, and therefore one can garner proceeds from the gate.

I pen this letter because the general public, especially Lindeners must be made aware of what is going on at this community owned facility. It is the members of the Linden community this club belongs to, and sadly no one can go and uplift a membership form to become a member of the club and nor can one get a copy of the club’s constitution. No one is aware of elections for club executives, the financial situation or membership status, and so much of the club is unknown.

Many questions are unanswered and no executive is willing to provide answers. Why is there a deliberate attempt to prevent members of the community from being a part of this community owned facility?

I was reliably informed that when the council asked the management what the reason was for such an astronomical increase from last year’s price of $180,000 dollars to this year’s $1.6 million plus a $500,000 dollars cautionary deposit, the response provided was too erroneous to be repeated here and now.

Editor, the rentals for community grounds across the country do not attract such a price range for a one-night activity, or even a week. The country’s premier national stadium is rented for international concerts at less than $500,000 dollars, and it is accompanied by amenities too numerous to mention. Additionally the promoter at those venues when rented does not have to contend with a competing bar such as what happens at the MSC, that is the beverage stock is increased to compete with the promoter who paid for the facility. Nor does the investor have to make passes to the event available for all executives, their families and friends.

The promoters obviously overbid for a one-day event and the council is unable to persuade the management of the MSC to change from their inappropriate ways. The responsibility is now on the people of Linden to help the promoters and the M&TC to demand that the management of MSC use the precedent of last year in offering a reasonable and practical price. Finally it is time the MSC had new leadership; enough is enough.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)  

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