ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Dec 15 – The Grenada government Friday said that the US$40 million cricket stadium being constructed to stage matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 was a gift from China that would help improve the island’s economy.
“The cost of the stadium, which is approximately US$40 million, is a gift to the People of Grenada from the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China,” Finance Minister Anthony Boatswain said as he delivered an EC$632.5 million (US$225.8 million) budget to Parliament.
Boatswain said Grenada stands to collect substantial revenue from the event which runs from March to April next year.
“In keeping with the Host Venue Agreement, all gate receipts belong to the host Government. In the case of Grenada, our stadium has a seating capacity of 16,000; the average price of a ticket is EC$195.75 (US$69) and the games are to be played over a six day period.
“If we assume a 100 per cent attendance on each day, then government can collect EC$18.8 million (US$6.7 million) from gate receipts alone. When we subtract EC$12.9 million (US$4.6 million) in expenditure incurred to date, there is a profit of EC$5.9 million (US$2.1 million)”
“But that’s not all Mr. Speaker. Through WICB, Grenada is to receive a share of the profit from the entire event to be used for the development of cricket in the islands. With the international media coverage of the games, Grenada will receive exposure to the rest of the world which under normal circumstances would have cost the Government millions of dollars.”
The Finance Minister was critical of persons who felt that the island, because of the damage caused by the hurricanes, would not have been able to host the games.
“One year ago, when our economy was still in an early stage of recovery, many doubted our ability to stage this spectacular event. But once again, we have confounded the skeptics, and silenced the “doubting Thomases”.
He said Grenada has come in for high praise from the International Cricket Council (ICC) officials for its advanced state of preparedness and that the National Stadium, which is now substantially structurally complete “is rated as one of the most spectacular in the region, and maybe, in the cricketing world”.
“It stands as a monument to the strong desire of a people, as a vision of the country’s future growth and development and of the commitment of our leaders to bring the best possible development to our country”.
Boatswains aid that the stadium does not only reveal the generosity of the Chinese government, “but also it demonstrates through the Chinese workers, a work ethic that we as a nation and people must emulate”.
“This positive work attitude, notwithstanding the economic benefits to be derived from this project, is perhaps the greatest lesson that we as a people can learn from the construction of the National Stadium.”
He said that the stadium would have a long lasting impact on the economic development of the island, since in preparation for the games, hotels have been increased both quality and the number of rooms.
Boatswain said that other sectors of the economy would also benefit from the cricket matches.

 
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