Sports

Bold move

Racers Track Club plans 35,000-capacity stadium

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, May 31, 2017



The Racers Track Club has committed to building a stadium in honour of its most iconic figures, Usain Bolt and coach Glen Mills, as it broadens its interests in sports-related entrepreneurship.The 25-acre property has been identified at Bernard Lodge in St Catherine and a Memorandum of Understanding is in place for completion of the project in the next five years.

Dennis Gordon, the Racers Track Club vice-president, made the announcements at a press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel yesterday as the track outfit heightens preparations for the Racers Grand Prix set for Saturday, June 10, inside the National Stadium.

“What we have now is a shared utility with the UWI, and they, over time, will most certainly want to improve their facility,” said Gordon in reference to the Usain Bolt track on the UWI campus.

“In order to continue Racers producing quality athletes we need our own facility that our athletes can be domiciled with state-of-the-art equipment that we need, and so we believe that it's best to do our own facility,” he pointed out.

“We approached the Bernard Lodge people through MP (Member of Parliament) Fitz Jackson and they were very accommodating. So we have reached a Memorandum of Understanding with them to provide us with 25 acres of property to do the stadium,” Gordon reiterated.

Plans are fairly advanced with the layout of the 35,000-seater stadium, with 10 acres of the land dedicated to the stadium facility. Another five acres have been set aside for parking, two acres for dorms and rest for gym area and an amphitheatre.

“We are in discussion now with potential partners. We are going to be engaging those persons, including the government, to build that stadium over five years,” said Gordon.

Most of the stadium will be covered and will be completed with VIP boxes, dedicated media centre, a proper mixed zone, training facility and a football field.

“So basically what we are trying to do is use the stadium as a revenue base for Racers. Our Grand Prix will be staged there and it will be available for rental. So that's what we are trying to develop,” Gordon pointed out.

The Racers Grand Prix is in its second year and currently costs $100 million to stage. Several sponsors are on board to offset the costs to make the meet a success.

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