by Michael Bascombe
NASSAU, Bahamas, April 22, 2016 – The Bahamas is continuing to gain advantage in becoming a major player in the Business of Sport in addition to the top destination for sports tourism in the Caribbean.
At the end of 2016 the Bahamas would have hosted no less than 10 major sporting events, with another three already confirmed for 2017.
The Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational Meet was the most recent, on the list of sporting events, to be successfully staged on the island.
The 2016 list includes the Marathon Bahamas – Susan G. Komen (Race for the Cure); Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA) – Pure Silk International Tour; PGA – World Heroes Gold Challenge organised by Tiger Woods; Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship; NCAA Battle for Atlantis; ESPN Popeyes Bowl; Rugby Sevens; World Championships of American Flag Football; and Caribbean Islands Swim Championship (CISC).
Local Organising Committees (LOCs) in the Bahamas are hard at work in preparation for the hosting of the 3rd edition of the IAAF World Relays, FIFA World Cup of Beach Soccer and the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017.
At the centre of this initiative are the Minister of Tourism, Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr Daniel Johnson.
Dr Johnson said that his ministry is engaged in talks with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL) with a view in establishing long term partnerships for the Bahamas.
“We’re talking with Major League Baseball about building a baseball stadium,” he said in an interview with GrenadaSports.
“We know what’s happening in Cuba and it’s a great interest for us to have a Caribbean League of Champions and we’re also talking with the NFL and NBA about getting pre-season games in this region because when you look in the leagues there are more Caribbean players being drafted in those leagues than any other place in the world,” he said.
The Ministry of Sports has already proposed appointing a Games Secretariat to facilitate the Bahamas’ hosting of these regional and international sporting events.