With Jamaica's National Trials, which was viewed all over the world, a couple of days behind us, TEENage has decided to commemorate the distinguished home to many of our hard-working and outstanding sports teams this week: The National Stadium. Let us not forget that this stadium was the venue for the momentous first official raising of newly-independent Jamaica's flag in 1962.
Our National Stadium was built in 1962 on the grounds of the Independence Park sports complex and has since then housed some of Jamaica's premier events including our National Trials, the Grand Gala, and of course, the world's finest youth athletic meet, recognized by Jamaicans as 'Champs'. Therefore the National Stadium will be turning 50 along with Jamaica herself this year.
The Stadium is known to many Jamaicans as 'The Office' after having been dubbed so by Rene Simoes during Jamaica's 1998 World Cup journey. A composite tribute to some of Jamaica's foremost athletes such as Donald Quarrie, Herb McKenley, Arthur Wint and Merlene Ottey marks the entrance to the stadium grounds. The 35000 capacity of the National Stadium has previously housed the Commonwealth Games in 1966 and the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1962.
Jamaica's National Stadium boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including a 400m IAAF regulation athletic provisions as well as an Eastern Stadium which carries warm-up tracks of the same quality. The Main Stadium also accommodates a 500m cycling track, Olympic-sized swimming pools and a FIFA regulation football pitch which is home to the Reggae Boyz.