Government has spent $1.5 million revamping West Bay’s Ed Bush Sports Centre in an effort to bring the stadium up to par to host the Central America and Caribbean Association Football tournament, which finishes this week.
A new 5,884-square-foot building erected at the site contains private changing rooms that can hold 20-people teams, a medical suite, an anti-doping control room, a referee dressing room, VIP reception area, secretariat suite and media/press conference room.
According to a government press release, representatives from CONCACAF and the Cayman Islands Football Association inspected the site before the tournament kicked off and found it met all international requirements.
“From our perspective, it’s great that we have two additional changing rooms. Most international tournaments require four changing rooms. Now that we have that, we are able to host higher level international tournaments,” said Bruce Blake, vice president of the Cayman Islands Football Association.
“They’ve also added additional lights which makes it a lot better, especially when you have television coverage of matches,” he said.
According to officials, the project took the Public Works Department three months to build at a cost of $1.493 million.
Mr. Blake said he is grateful for the new facilities and believes “these improvements will not only benefit our international games, but also our local games.”
“You need a certain level of facilities in order for our kids to be able to train properly to advance in the game of football,” he said.
While touring the new building, Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden, said, “They have done a fantastic job in pulling this off. Any doubts I had about the time constraints were quickly laid to rest.”
Other additions to the site include improved parking, public bathrooms and a concession room.
“There is a concession stand and the building is Cat [category] five rated with the ability for future stand growth on the roof of the structure,” said Minister Bodden.
“I think it’s great value for money in the short three month window we had…,” he added.
The Ed Bush Sports Centre hosted four CONCACAF games last week: Bahamas versus Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago versus Barbados, Belize versus Costa Rica, and Anguilla versus Jamaica.