By Prior Beharry
THE pavilion at the refurbished Skinner Park is not in the wrong place.
This according to a statement by the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT) on Wednesday when it refuted claims made by United National Congress (UNC) Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal at a political meeting on Monday.
UDeCOTT stated, “The original football field was oriented in an East-West direction, which posed a challenge to goal-keepers and players due to the position of the sun being in their eyes during games. Because of the existing field orientation, the original pavilion was positioned on the southern portion of the Facility.
“As part of the Skinner Park Redevelopment, the football field was re-oriented to a North-South direction, which is most appropriate for football and in keeping with other football fields.
“Due to this necessary change in field orientation, the new Pavillion was positioned on the western portion of the facility.
“The position of the new Pavilion is best suited for spectators when attending events, whether football, cycling, cultural or other events.”
It also stated that the refurbishment of Skinner Park cost $131 million and not $200 million as alluded by Dr Moonilal.
UDeCOTT stated that the original contract for the Skinner Park refurbishment project was $127 million but with variations to the perimeter walls, turnstiles and other works, the cost of the project increased by $4 million to $131 million.
Dr Moonilal also said that secondary school football could no longer take place at Skinner Park as the “the specs” of the field were wrong.
UDeCOTT stated, “Turning to the allegation that ‘the specs were wrong,’ the redevelopment of Skinner Park was done to internationally recognised specifications. The football field adhered to IFA – the world football governing body, The International Football Association specs. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) sets all laws governing the sport of Football the world over. Also, the 333-meter cycle track was done and approved by the Cycling Federation.
“Both football and international cycling events took place at the upgraded Skinner Park Facility, and positive feedback was received from these Stakeholders.”
It stated, “The Field at Skinner Park has dimensions of 90 metres x 50 metres – five metres more than the minimum required.
“Furthermore, the 90m x 50m dimensions have always been the dimensions of the Skinner Park Field.”
UDeCOTT added, “The only change in the Field at Skinner Park that came with its refurbishment was the change in its directional orientation, to prevent direct sunlight in the eyes of goal-keepers – an improvement, which found great favour with stakeholder, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, during construction phase stakeholder meetings.
It stated that the facility has a capacity for 6,000 patrons -a covered pavilion of 3,000 seats and two uncovered pavilions of 1,500 seats each.
UDeCOTT stated that the cycling track was 333 metres with the main pavilion being 4,307.73 square metres and the uncovered bleachers 384 square metres each.
It stated that the Skinner Park facilities include home and away lockers, dining areas and washrooms, officials lockers and washrooms, general public male and female washrooms, storage, concession stands, elevators, car park areas, gym, club room, meeting rooms, 8 corporate boxes, VIP/mayor’s box, cycling track, playing field, led mass lighting, scoreboard, security booths, garbage storage and pump rooms.