‘The wrong bulbs came’: Stadium manager Keithroy Black addresses light issues at Sir Viv

Acting facilities manager at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Keithroy Black (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Acting facilities manager at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Keithroy Black, has apologised to the nation for what is being called a “national embarrassment” by members of the public.

Black, who appeared on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Wednesday, addressed the issue regarding inadequate lighting at the North Sound facility during matches in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup where teams are forced to leave the field for 30 minutes to allow the lights to fully adjust.

According to Black, several bulbs on each tower at the facility needed replacing ahead of the competition in which Antigua is hosting Zone B, but the individual contracted to get the job done reported to him, just days before the first match, that the wrong bulbs were purchased.

“They were contracted as well to order and purchase the bulbs, because we need additional bulbs as well to complete the lighting so the place could be much brighter. The contractor was given the greenlight to go ahead and was paid and so on. I can’t say to you whether or not the person would have ordered the wrong bulb but what I can say to you is that the bulbs that came were the wrong bulbs and that’s the problem we’re having. Since we have been told that that was the situation, we have reached out to different suppliers and it was only up until last evening we got a quote and some bulbs,” he said. 

One of the issues, Black revealed, is the mechanism used to travel up and down the towers and its safety.

“The Chinese would come and just jump in the bucket and just press a button and it takes you about 20 minutes to get up the tower, and about 25 minutes to get down, but nobody wants to go into those towers, so even if you have somebody understudying the Chinese, at the end of the day to go up in the tower has always been the challenge since I’ve been working here,” he said.

“Speaking to the Chinese the last time they were here, they asked us to make recommendations as to what we would like to have for phase six which is what is coming up soon, and I spoke to them about changing the towers to those that are hydraulic so if there is an issue, it comes down right in the field in front of you, you do all of your servicing there and then you press a button and it goes back up,” he added. 

Asked why the management has decided to not name the contractor in question, Black said that although he understands the public’s frustration, naming and shaming would not rectify the problem.

“I do understand how this thing works but for me, I just don’t like the name calling. It could be good or it could be bad and sometimes we try to destroy people’s character, and I don’t want to go down that road. I know eventually it will come out but I am not in the business of calling people’s name and destroying people’s character,” he said.

“Right now, we are just busy trying to get the lights up and running, so we are not even talking about a refund; that will take care of itself so we could have that discussions after. Maybe the lights he brought in can be used somewhere else but we will wait and see what happens, but all of that will have to be discussed eventually,” the manager added.

The day/night matches, which are played at the stadium, are routinely halted at around 5:45 pm and restarted at 6:15 pm to allow the working bulbs to provide the necessary brightness for the match to continue.

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