Owners of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have asked Government to pay US$4.5 million for Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) to host the semifinals and final of the event from August 3-6.
However, sources say that while T&T’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is convinced that staging the three main matches here will generate substantial benefits for the country, he is not willing to pay that price and is insisting on re-negotiations to bring the cost in line with what the country can afford.
Last year, the Trinidad government spent US$3.5 million and there was massive interest and sold out crowds for the final which was won by the local Red Steel, which beat Barbados Tridents in the final at the Queen’s Park Oval.
T&T is facing competition from the governments of Barbados and Guyana, as they have both made presentations to CPL owners, but negotiations are still ongoing with the three countries.
It is understood that T&T has proposed a counter offer of US$1.5 million. Sources say that Government may agree to US$2 million.
The CPL has provided a report prepared by SMG Insight on the economic impact of last year’s final.
SMG Insight reasoned that by hosting last year’s event, Trinidad & Tobago got significant economic and social benefits, which included the direct spend by CPL from hotel to local vendors, travel, media and advertising.
The total direct impact of the 2015 tournament for the T&T economy was stated as US$15.40 million. This was broken down into the direct spend by CPL which was US$3.84 million, accommodation and general expenditure was listed at US$5.63 million, and value produced by the T&T Tourist Board branding at matches was put at US$5.93 million.
The proposal also outlined to Government that a total of 93,929 fans attended the matches in this country and as a result 551 jobs were created. In addition to this a television audience of 27.3 million viewed the games, and a total of 5,703 nights were spent by non-local spectators at the hotels in Trinidad.
Guardian sources say Government has not given up and will continue to negotiate.
“At this point, we are confident that the matches will come our way as there are many ways for the CPL to fit the difference for what they are asking. Government understands the importance of hosting an event of this magnitude and hence negotiations are far from over.”
The Queen’s Park Oval hosted the final of the first edition in 2013, and last year’s edition.
(reprinted from T&T Guardian)