Jamaica National Bank has agreed to partner with Independence Park Ltd (IPL) in raising US$40 million from Jamaicans living overseas to start major upgrades at the National Stadium.
Lenford Salmon, senior advisor to the minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, told the Jamaica Observer that while the discussions are at a preliminary stage, the bank has confirmed the use of its platform as the point of transaction for Jamaicans living across the world to contribute to the initiative.
Ultimately, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in partnership with IPL, wants to redevelop the 55-year-old National Stadium to align with the standards and facilities of an international sporting complex with improved medical facilities, drug testing and media facilities. There are also plans to expand the seating capacity to near 45,000.
Salmon reckons that the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships will play on the hearts of the Jamaican diaspora and bring in the funds needed for the redevelopment of the home of track and field events.
“We are going to recreate the wheel and say to the diaspora that we will have a wall of fame for people who donate to the refurbishment of the stadium,” he told Sunday Finance. He was speaking at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston last week.
“We will have a wall with blocks where, if you give the minimum of US$100, your name will be listed.
Individuals wishing to give more will have their contribution ranked in terms of platinum, gold and silver; you give US$1 million you get a larger block with your name, so as people walk in they will see it,” Salmon continued.