Western News

Ward unveils marketing plan for Montego Bay Sports Complex

BY PAUL A REID Observer West Writer MONTEGO BAY, St James

Thursday, September 27, 2012    

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Operators of the Montego Bay Sports Complex have launched an ambitious plan that they hope will lead to lowered rental fees for the Catherine Hall facility.

Montego Bay businessman Howard Ward who is the chairman of the committee responsible for the complex told Observer West last week that they were putting in a marketing plan that they hope will see increased usage of the facility and the possibility of corporate sponsorships.

"As it is right now we are in the process of marketing the facility because one of the things we need to do right now is increase the number of patrons going there for events," Ward told Observer West.

"We need the numbers so we can go to corporations who would want to attach their names to it as sponsors".

His committee, he said, are presently in talks with several organisers of sporting events.

According to Ward, arising out of the discussions plans are already in place to stage four track meets next year, including the Milo Western Relays, Milo Western High School Champs as well as an all-comers meet.

He added that the committee has approached the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) in a bid to have the Ben Francis Knock Out finals played there, along with the opening games of the schoolboys' football season and the finals of the daCosta Cup.

Ward who was involved in the negotiations to get Red Stripe Premier League club Montego Bay United (MBU) to continue using the facility rather than move their home games out of the parish, said they "needed" MBU, if they were to achieve their goals.

"MBU is a team that we need and their success will further increase the numbers at the stadium and that will allow us to get proper branding and further drive down the cost to the people of Montego Bay to use it," he argued.

Additionally Ward said, they were looking at other areas outside of football and track and field, adding that automotive sports would soon be staged there, as the Montego Bay Racing Club is scheduled to use the parking lot for an event soon.

"We have a lot of wide open areas that can be used for stage shows and other events, and we are inviting promoters to come look at the property and see how best we can work with them," he said.

The high cost to use the facility has made the news in the past month as it took last minute negotiations to get the opening games of the ISSA schoolboy's football season to be played there on September 8, while MBU did a turn about after agreeing to play three homes games at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex before moving to Wespow Park in Fairfield, due to the high costs associated with the use of the facilities.

An agreement was brokered thanks to the intervention of the Jamaica Football Federation between the principals of MBU and the St James Parish Council.

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