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CARIFTA revenue agenda excludes ‘car parking’

Sports Scope

Published: Oct 11, 2013

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The long-awaited financial report for CARIFTA Games 2013 has been released.  Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairman Basil Christie termed the event a success when he produced the financial summary on Wednesday.

It is an indication of an effort for transparency when financial reports are provided, particularly when sizeable government funding is involved.  So, the LOC gets points for the report.  However, as would be expected, scrutiny must follow.

What jumped out at me when viewing the revenue agenda of the financial summary was the absence of the item car parking.  Now, perhaps there was no need to have car parking as an item.  Car parking might not have been a revenue-generating source for CARIFTA 2013.  I had a parking pass so I didn’t experience a fee, but it was heavily rumored that $5 was charged per car.

If this in fact was not the case, then I suggest that Christie and his associates officially disabuse the public of that notion, because a fee for car parking was certainly out there in the public.  It could also be that if car parking was indeed a revenue source, the financial summary has it covered under another heading.

Again, this is definitely a matter that needs some explanation.  The issue needs to be explained because hundreds of cars (could be thousands) parked at Thomas Robinson National Stadium during the days of CARIFTA Games activities on the end-March/April weekend.

There is no suggestion here of impropriety, just a call for the LOC to clear the air on the reported car parking fee.  This is important because an accumulated figure at $5 per head would be huge.  In any event, it’s up to the LOC to determine how to deal with this matter, whether or not charging for parked cars was just a rumor.

The document that provided the financial summary also spoke to the incorporation of a company called Nassau Carifta Games (2013) Limited.  This is an interesting approach.  Such a body would, while working closely with the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), be legally autonomous.

In tennis there is a similar situation.  There is the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association and a board that operates under its own authority.  I understand also that a company has been formed to manage the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Relays, scheduled in The Bahamas for 2014 and 2015.  This is an interesting trend that will likely be followed by more federations as the national sports industry expands.

The primary objective of Nassau Carifta Games (2013) Limited is noble for sure.  It declares that:

“This company is not intended to make a profit for itself and as a result, any surplus generated will be utilized for the expressed purpose of the development and advancement of ‘athletics’, specifically track and field in The Bahamas, in the following areas – Family Islands development; launching of the IAAF/BAAA Accredited Training Centre (ATC); national clubs development; Special Olympics development; and any other worthwhile athletic purpose.”

No sensible argument can be made against those areas of national development through sports.

The future holds the answer though, to just how these companies that evolve out of sporting organizations will be sustained.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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