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Optimizing Gilbert Park

Published: 
Monday, January 15, 2018

The time is appropriate for revamping and re-branding Gilbert Park, California into a dynamic modern sporting and multi-purpose venue. Athletes will not only be the main beneficiaries; if operated using a business model, revenue generated can be used for its maintenance and further development.

There are several factors that vindicate Gilbert Park as an appropriate venue for a sporting and multi-purpose centre. The venue has a rich history of hosting sporting activities especially cricket and football. Gilbert Park was the venue of many enthralling battles between Wanderers and Preysal Sports. It was also the venue for many national cricket trial matches which drew large crowds as it is nestled in a strategic position of several communities.

In addition to the rich sporting history of the park, its central location to the communities of Couva and environ and the easy access routes for travel and transportation will make the venue attractive to spectators.

Furthermore, the adjacent Atlantic Shopping Plaza and the Point Lisas Industrial Estate makes the area a hub of activities.

Gilbert Park is roughly 15-20 minutes away from the location of the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, the National Cricket Centre, the National Aquatic Centre and the National Cycling Velodrome. It is also 10 minutes away from the Sevilla golf course.

The installation of floodlights will facilitate T20 cricket and night football which will attract large crowds especially as the area is in a cricket community. The venue can then be used to host various leagues, school and women cricket competitions under lights.

The upgrade of the facility should be driven by a business model to ensure that it can generate funds to sustain itself. As such the facility should include conference and seminar rooms to be rented. An auditorium where the general public can rent for weddings, graduations and other functions.

Once possible, an area can be designated where open-air fetes can be hosted to raise funds as is similarly done by the administrators of Queen’s Park Cricket Club. The many businesses at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and environs should be encouraged to support the investment of this project as well as use the strategic location to buy advertising space. Once a vibrant sporting culture is established and there is a regular activities, the adjacent businesses especially as it relates to food and beverages will stand to benefit.

“I don’t feel it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” — Michel Foucault

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