‘We need to do major repairs’: Black suggests stadium closure to undertake upgrades

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The facility has struggled with lighting issues since the start of the Super50 Cup
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By Neto Baptiste

The acting facilities manager at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Keithroy Black, has recommended a complete overhaul and upgrading of the lighting system, pipes and other areas at the facility.

Black made the revelation while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo sports show on Monday, addressing what he said was a “power surge” that left at least two of the four light towers at the North Sound facility without power for some time, forcing umpires to stop play between the Leeward Islands Hurricanes and the Barbados Pride in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

“One of the recommendations we would have made is we are asking that from time to time and at least, during the first half of next year, 2023, we look at maybe closing off from all activities and maybe do some major repairs at the stadium in terms of everything including the lights, the screens and everything. We need to do some work because the stadium is 15 years old and we need to make some changes and make some major renovations to get it right,” he said. 

The facility has struggled with lighting issues since the start of the Super50 Cup with teams being forced to leave the field for at least a half hour – from around 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm — to allow the working bulbs to provide the necessary brightness for the match to continue.

Black revealed that the stadium’s management has since sourced the necessary bulbs and are hoping to have them installed ahead of the first semi-final match slated for Wednesday.

“We could have gotten them here a bit earlier but the issue with that, as the supplier said to us, was that if we did that in terms of having someone go and pick them up, you’d have to ship them through luggage and chances are they could get damaged. So, it was best to have them insured through DHL, have them shipped to us and so if there are any issues then they are fully covered,” he said.

“We bought 100 bulbs and those are what we could have gotten at that time … and those 100 will outfit the four towers fully and put us in a much better condition,” Black added.

The facilities manager also revealed that although the stadium is equipped with a back-up generator, the wattage is not sufficient to provide power to the light towers in the event of an outage.

He assured that those in authority are fully aware of the situation.

“I am in contact with the minister [Daryll Matthew] daily, giving him reports in terms of what is happening. This morning [Monday] I spoke to the Director of Sports [Heather Samuel Daley] and I have had discussions with my [Permanent Secretary] as well. I have been sharing with them day by day and as things happen I would call the minister and explain. So he is au fait with what is happening at the stadium,” he said.

Following Wednesday’s first semi-final, the second semi-final will be contested on Thursday with the final slated for Saturday at the venue.

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