Sunday, 29 March 2015

ISSA Boys And Girls Championship; Is It Time To Increase The Seating Capacity Of The National Stadium?

The annually sought after inter-secondary school sports association (ISSA) boys and girls championship has once again delivered scintillating performances, suggesting that Jamaica has a bright track and field future. Many Jamaican youths see track and field as the way out of poverty; where young individuals are provided a medium to access higher education by way of full scholarships, and or pursuing a career as a professional track and field athlete.

National Stadium; Independence Park. Source of image: Trackandfieldja

Edwin Allen and Calabar were the respective girls and boys champions, beating longtime rivals Holmwood Technical and Kingston College. The ISSA boys and girls championship started on Tuesday, March 24th of the past week, and culminated on Saturday, March 28th (yesterday).

This year's championship marked the 105th anniversary of the event. Boys and girls "champs" is also rated as the greatest age group championship of Its kind globally; many opine that champs is similar to a mini-olympics, Jamaicans can be proud be proud of the boys and girls championship.

Is It Time To Increase The Seating Capacity Of The National Stadium?

Jamaica's Premier sports complex; Independence Park, encompasses a swimming pool, arena, national stadium, etc. The national stadium is home to Boys And Girls Championship, as well as Fifa friendlies and qualifiers. The Seating capacity of the national stadium is somewhat uncertain, however, the stadium seats between 30, 000 and 35, 000 individuals.

Never mind Its capacity, demand for tickets significantly outweigh what's available on the final day of champs. Plus, the stadium is sold out annually on the final day of champs. Incidentally, a week before champs, grandstand tickets were sold out virtually instantaneously. The grandstand seats approximately 5000 individuals, with 2500 seats available to the public.

In this regards, cries have grown louder to build a new stadium or expand the existing facility. However, building a new stadium is out of the question for the time being; a new stadium could easily cost in excess US$ 300 million. Expanding the seating capacity is likely to be more feasible. Though, it is posited that champs occurs once a year, and football games seldom have capacity crowds. However, the stadium was inaugurated in 1962, making the stadium 53 years old.

I would suggest adding 5000 to 10, 000 seats in the medium to long term. In the short term, we should consider expanding the grandstand, helping to reduce shortage of the aforementioned tickets.

Thanks for stopping!


World Stadiums, Jamaica.

We are ready, says Forbes, Jamaica Star.

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