The ruling New National Party (NNP) Government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has not taken a decision on the naming of the Football and Athletics Stadium, according to Sports Minister, Emmalin Pierre.
“Even if we would have taken a decision (on the naming of the stadium), I think we would want to save this for the opening,” Pierre told a television programme.
A sign stating “Grenada Athletic Stadium” which was recently posted on the facility has created some concern especially among the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Former Sports Minister, Patrick Simmons is claiming that a decision was taken by Congress in its 2008-13 stint in office to have the stadium named in honour of Kirani James, the country’s lone Olympic Gold Medalist from the 2012 games held in London.
Simmons, a former Sports Minister, has been leading a campaign started by NDC to have the stadium named after James based on a policy decision taken by the then administration in September 2012.
Congress is seeking to have thousands of Grenadians sign a petition to try and pressure the Mitchell Government to honour the policy decision.
The NNP administration had announced earlier that the newly reconstructed stadium would have been handed over by the Chinese Construction Firm last month, but that failed to take place.
However, the female Sports Minister said there is no rush in having the stadium handed over and government does not anticipate having an opening ceremony before January 2016.
According to Minister Pierre, both the Grenada Government and the Chinese are now engaged in final inspection of the facility before any activity takes place.
The senior government minister made mention of the 2016 Carifta Games as one of the first major sporting activities that will be held at the refurbished stadium.
The 45th edition of the annual regional championship will run from March 26-28 in Grenada at a cost of EC$2M.
Minister Pierre said her Ministry intends to deliver on having the stadium ready and to make sure that it meets all of the required standards.
For this reason, she said, “we’ve been taking our time engaging our counterparts.”