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Thursday, March 30, 2006
Local committee eyes cricket hospitality packages
Stabroek News

The Cricket World Cup (CWC) Local Organising Committee (LOC) is hoping to become an agent of Cricket Hospitality 2007 to sell cricket hospitality packages, which would include tickets to see the Super Eight matches along with foods and drinks.

Chief Executive Officer of the CWC LOC, Karan Singh told Stabroek News in an interview last week that "some time during the first or second week in April they [Cricket Hospitality 2007] are likely to come on board and we, the LOC, are being given the opportunity to become a hospitality agent."

Cricket Hospitality 2007, is the official hospitality partner of the ICC CWC West Indies 2007 Inc.

Singh explained that in the hospitality packages there would be limited numbers of seats, which would be allocated in a total of eight boxes. There would be 12 seats to a box. In addition to the boxes, he said, "seats would be available within the stadium where you can buy, not only seats as part of the package, but food and drinks and when lunch is served you may dine with a couple of prominent cricketers in the same area." He said music and television screens showing highlights of Guyana would also be available.

Caterers

Singh said there would be several categories of caterers. "Even the average nut man and the vendor who sells phoulouri could register as a vendor," he said.

He said there would be a regional catering advisor who would look at all the catering services in terms of meeting certain criteria. The LOC would guide the advisor in terms of the selection of people who would be involved in the catering. There would be lots of food booths in the stadium including mobile and fixed ones. "We are trying to minimize people having to leave the stadium to go out to find food."

However, he said, Pepsi, a corporate sponsor, would be the dominating beverage of the tournament along with its affiliates such as KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Pizza Hut. Pepsi is a major sponsor and can have no major competition because the beverage giant has paid millions of dollars for the rights.

But Singh said, "The local cuisine, such as curry, cook-up rice and pepperpot among others, would definitely not be compromised. In the catering industry we are hoping that all involved in catering would recognise the opportunity to showcase Guyanese cuisine."

Contracts for services would be dealt with through certain regional initiatives, which are being driven by CWC through a central procurement programme. This means that goods and services would be bought or leased and acquired through a particular agency depending on the permanent or temporary nature of what is required.

Contractors

Noting that mega events need some facilities that would be temporary such as television screens, and tents, Singh said the CWC has proposed to the nine LOCs in the host venues to use the services of GL Events of France. This was done through a bidding process. The CWC WI Inc is in the process of completing negotiations to bring on board GL Events, which has shown a keen interest in working with the nine host venues to provide management support for the overlay. GL Events provided the overlay for the last Super Bowl held in the USA.

It is expected that GL Events would bring stocks worth millions of dollars to the region for the event through lease arrangements so that the region would not incur unnecessary expenses through purchases.

But Singh said there are opportunities for local contractors and for sub-contractors. For instance, he said, GL Events would not bring tents to Guyana if tents were available here. Therefore, companies that could provide tents and mobile latrines could be sub-contracted to GL Events.

Some countries like Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua, which would be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and the semi-finals and which would require additional seating accommodation are expected to benefit from GL Events.

In addition to GL Events, Singh said, the ICC CWC is now looking at an English company with much experience in security through a bidding process to deal with issues of security. Once this company would have signed on to working with the ICC CWC, it is expected that it would transfer training to the nine host venues by training of trainers in areas specific to hosting a mega event. (Miranda La Rose)