Baseball stadium to cost in excess of $32 million
Work on the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium, which is expected to cost in excess of $32 million, is expected to be completed by 2020, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said.
The project, which has dragged on for years and went over budget by at least $11 million, will not be able to host major baseball games because of its positioning, the minister noted.
He said the cost overruns alone are “concerning”.
“That stadium is going to cost the Bahamian people almost $32 million if not more and the government is very, very concerned about the costs that have been billed into that – very, very concerned,” Bannister said in a recent interview.
“At some stage, I’m going to have to speak to the Bahamian people about that stadium.”
He added, “The stadium is a huge challenge and the contractor is doing an excellent job. It is way over budget because the former administration planned it poorly.”
When asked when the stadium would be completed, the minister said, “I anticipate sometime next year.”
He continued, “If you speak with anyone that knows baseball, they’ll tell you [that] we’re not going to be able have Major League Baseball (MLB) at that stadium because of the orientation. So we’re only going to be able to attract very low levels of baseball in that stadium but the government has an obligation to finish it.”
The initial cost of the stadium was $21 million.
Work at the stadium commenced in 2016 under the Christie administration and came to a halt in the first quarter of 2017 after Woslee Construction cited months of non-payment.
Work at the stadium resumed last year.
When completed, the stadium is expected to feature a main MLB-approved field, two supporting fields, a main grandstand, a general seating area, international standard dugouts and the latest in technology in digital scoreboards and sound systems. The main stadium was being built to accommodate up to 4,000 fans.
When the stadium is completed, the National Sports Authority (NSA) will be charged with the day-to-day running of the facility.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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