Noel Garcia

UDeCOTT Chairman: Noel Garcia

Chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Noel Garcia said $80 million has been allocated to the renovation of the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

UDeCOTT is the project manager of the project.

Garcia stressed yesterday that the Stadium is currently not closed and will remain open until March.

It will be closed in the final stage (March to May) of the renovation.

In August Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe announced that the Commonwealth Games would be held at the Ato Bolton Stadium and the Dwight Yorke Stadium.

Garcia said then the Stadium was not designated to host the 2023 Commonwealth Games, due to take place in August, and instead the Dwight Yorke Stadium and the Ato Boldon Stadium were so designated.

The Prime Minister in November took issue with not having any aspect of the Commonwealth Games in the Stadium in Mucurapo.

Trinidad and Tobago is the host nation for the Games.

“What was pointed out to him by the Minister of Sport was that (in order to host the Commonwealth Games there) money needed to be allocated for the upgrade of the Stadium. The Cabinet approved the money to upgrade it and asked UDeCOTT to project manage it. UDeCOTT went out to tender, we have selected a contractor and that contractor would mobilise from January 16. We expect that between January and the end of February we would have very little disruption because what the contractor would be doing in the first instance is repairing the (seating) tiers (which are used to position rows of spectators at progressively higher levels).

“They have to re-seal all the tiers to prevent water from getting down into the changing rooms and other places. We have to do extensive re-sealing because without that water would go down into the changing rooms and cause damage. We have to redo the plumbing, we also have to gut all of the VIP booths, we have to change the chairs, we have to do over the electrics, we have to do some retro-fitting of the steel. Some of the work could be done without disrupting the main purpose of the Stadium, which is to hold athletics and sporting events.”

Garcia said: “Between now and early March activities would be permitted at the Stadium within the context of a safe environment. We will sit with whoever is using it to ensure that all of the health and safety measures are in place and that we don’t put either the athletes or the general public or any other user in danger. But somewhere between March and May, we would have to close the Stadium to any activity because the construction activity may pose a danger for people using a stadium that is an active construction site.”

He said refurbishment work is expected to be completed at the end of May.

He said the commissioning and testing is expected to be done in June and that UDeCOTT would be in a position to hand over the refurbished Stadium to the organising committee sometime in June so that they could put things in place to host the Commonwealth Games in August.

Asked about Carnival events, Garcia said there were not many events to be held in the Stadium itself. “The only event that was carded for inside the Stadium is a Machel Montano event which is carded for February 17 (Carnival Friday) and that is going ahead. All the other events would be using the car park and there is no reason not to have them because they would not disrupt the work being done,” he said.

Garcia said originally some people had advocated that the entire Stadium be taken down and a new Stadium built.

“But the Prime Minister said that the cost of building an entirely new stadium could run into a billion dollars. And our assessment is that structurally the building is sound. We have problems with the electrical, the elevators, escalators and there has been a general deterioration of the building through lack of maintenance. So rather than pull down the Stadium, the Government took the decision to spend $80 million to create a stadium that would give us another 15 years, 20 years life,” he said.

Asked about the contractors, Garcia said there were a number of small contractors and a number of specialist contractors.

He said the refurbishment of the track will be done by a foreign contractor, while the lights will be handled by a specialist contractor.

Most of the seats will be changed and the new chairs are going to be imported from Europe, he said.


A DARING leap off a five-foot-high stage, by Barbadian saxophonist Elan Trotman, provided a show-stopping finale to the Jazz Artists On The Greens (JAOTG) concert, on Saturday night, at WASA Grounds, St Joseph.

Trotman blew hearts and minds and made hairs on napes and forearms stand on end, with some deft finger work on his alto sax, before gleefully falling into the wide-open arms of the sold-out crowd, during a stellar performance.

APPALLED and frightening is how former president Paula-Mae Weekes has described the level of racial abuse on social media during her tenure.

In a pre-recorded interview with Garth St Clair of the Eye on Dependency programme on i95.5fm yesterday, Weekes said when her term began, she took an interest in the comments on social media, which left her in a state of shock.

GUNMEN opened fire in a savannah in Valencia on Saturday night, claiming the life of a 14-year-old boy and injuring two others.

The boy attempted to run from the armed men, but was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, said police.

A MIRACULOUS escape for a woman, who survived being struck down by an oncoming vehicle in McBean, Couva, on Saturday evening.

After the frightening incident, the woman reportedly walked away with minor injuries, according to police.

MAXI-taxi drivers in Tobago claim they are owed close to $400,000 from the agent of cruise ships that dock in Tobago.

And while the drivers have decided to not protest just yet and stop transporting tourists, they claim the agent, Charles Carvalho, has threatened to withdraw the fleet of ships he is associated with from docking in Tobago, according to president of the maxi-taxi association in Tobago, Cloyd Williams.

Recommended for you