ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Principal of the company spearheading the proposed construction of the Antigua Sports Village said the US $120 to US $150 million to construct the facility will not rest on the shoulders of the Antiguan public.
The project will see the construction of a series of sporting facilities to include an Olympic style swimming pool, gymnasium, a recreation centre, Judo facility, baseball, basketball and football areas, as well as 12-lane bowling alley to be erected on the lands surrounding Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.
Alton Urban, who heads the Colorado-based Concept to Completion (C2C) Designs, in an exclusive interview with OBSERVER Media, said his company has the resources and expertise to come up with the money.
Squashing speculations that the facility could lead to an increase of two per cent in the Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST), Urban said the project would be funded by the sale of the facility’s naming rights.
“I can assure you we have this budget paid for and then some. This will not rest on the shoulder of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda or the people. They will have full use of it, but it will not cost them anything. The construction and subsequent operations is fully paid for,” Urban said.
Urban said the project, which is expected to be completed for the Brazil Olympics in four years, will become a training facility for athletes in the colder parts of the world or for those who wish to prepare for their events without the constant media frenzy.
The athletes’ village will house a number of top-rated facilities that will be constructed to international standards and would allow Antigua & Barbuda to become the hub for regional, sub-regional and even international meets.
He added that a rehab area for injured basketball and football athletes is also envisioned in the facility.
Urban, who has been living in Antigua for six years, and was a springboard swimmer, said he felt the need for a facility on such a large scale as there was no place for the nation’s youth to nurture their talent.
“As it stands, Daniel Bailey has to train in Jamaica. I would like to see Antigua grow from a five member team to a 100 plus team for the Olympics and extend into other sports than track and field, such as swimming, diving, basketball, gymnasium, wrestling and judo.”
The conceptual layout for the facility is available on Antiguasportsvillage.com or their facebook page.
The memorandum of agreement between the government and the company is expected to be signed by next week.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)