2,200 Cricket World Cup Grand Final Tickets Unsold

cricket-world-cup-barbados-2007.jpg

From The Nation News…

2200 Finals Tickets Back On Market

From tomorrow, about 2 200 tickets for the grand final of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) on April 28 at Kensington Oval will be up for grabs.

They will be on a first-come, first-served basis and sold online and in ticket centres in the nine host nations – even if people had not previously bought any CWC tickets. The seats available will range in cost from US$100 to US$300.

It was previously announced that the final was sold out.

“Once again, some of our sponsors have not exercised their full option on tickets for the final and CWC has received returns for the final in various categories…”

… continue reading this article at The Nation News (link here)

THESE TICKETS will probably be gone shortly, but I wonder about the statement “…some of our sponsors have not exercised their full option on tickets for the final and CWC has received returns for the final in various categories…”

The European travel agencies and groups like the Barmy Army are reporting low sales, and the President of the Barbados Tourism Authority is in the Middle East begging for people to attend Cricket World Cup.

Whatever happens, thousands of cheering fans will fill the venues for the finals – and Owen Arthur and company will point to the cheering multitudes as “proof” that CWC went off well and was a wise decision.

As we do the post-CWC assessment, we citizens must learn to separate the hype from reality. While the lack of cheering crowds would be a huge warning flag, the presence of cheering crowds must not be allowed to become the sole indicator of the success or wisdom of Cricket World Cup.

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cricket

20 responses to “2,200 Cricket World Cup Grand Final Tickets Unsold

  1. RA

    So what are the criteria indicating success / wisdom according to the BFP?

  2. reality check

    RA

    more money coming in ( long term and short term ) versus money going out–its called return on investment–and this means to the people of Barbados—not the pockets of the inner circle and those blessed with sub-contracts and offshore bank accounts

    The good thing about this lack of sales is that locals may get to see the finals and hopefully at a discounted price. If they can’t sell them they need to give them to the true cricket fanatics even though the Nation as a whole is paying through the nose.

  3. RA

    Thanks Reality. You the official BFP spokesperson now?

    Unless you are able to measure your qualified version of ROI with numbers, rather than leaving it as the wide-open fuzzy definition it currently is, proving the point you wish to make (c/f “through the nose”) will remain an elusive task.

    Perhaps BFP have something more quantifiable.

  4. RA- “What are BFP’s criteria to be in assessing success/wisdom”?

    I feel sure they will speak for themselves when they get home from their jobs, but I expect them to say what we all feel:

    “In the balance was the vast amount of money we spent on this unique opportunity to be in the global spotlight for a few weeks put to the best, or if not the best, to good use.

    “In the balance sheet will we have credits to offset all the debits? Or will there be a huge bill hanging over our heads for years to come, making us say- “If only we had been a little more thoughtful about how to maximise the benefits”?

    Mia will try and tell us it was a big success because the permanent security measures she instituted at huge cost avoided terrorism. But we will only remember how she became a laughing stock (again) with her unopened Sydney office for Caricom visas, and her telling Pakistanis to send their passports to New Delhi (never to be seen again!) etc, etc.

  5. RA

    Pandora, thanks.

    I think, reading your message carefully, it contains only questions, not a method for assessment.

    You may have “feelings” about the investments made; but by what measurable yardsticks do you intend to rate your emotions?

    I look forward to someone/BFP setting out the measurable “balance sheet items” you hang your hat upon so all may refer to them in the future.

  6. reality check

    RA

    BFP can speak for themselves. This blog is for the Barbadian public at large and only my opinion.

    of course you must know by now, it is not a question of return on investment but rather return of investment and how massive the loss will be.

    This return of investment will never happen and we will never know because we do not have audited statements and persons who are accountable for the public money they have been entrusted with.

    Your question of how does one measure success by BFP is a red herring but I will be interested to see how they respond.

  7. RA

    RC, thanks for clarifying your spoke for yourself. Precision does tend to help.

    But red herring? What scent am I supposed to be trying to throw you off?

    That you feel it’s uniquely a question of “how massive the loss will be” speaks more to your prejudices than any quantifiable facts brought to bear here thus far.

    And forgive me, but to hide behind the idea that there is no quantifiable basis for discussion; and therefore there is only negative ROI – that is a genuine red herring.

    Surely, if your position is that there is no means to make an assessment then your logical position should be neutral – it might be a good investment or it might not. Yet, clearly, you “feel” it’s a Terrible Thing.

    I hope BFP do, when time permits, choose to set out their objective assessment method which all and sundry can agree to and look back on in due course.

  8. De Orginal

    I dont understand somebody telling lies. I thought the finals were sold out. I can hear the warning being sounded by those on this blog who have been described as alarmist.

  9. RP

    RA-

    Perhaps you could shed some light on appropriate assessment criteria and factors.

    I suspect you have more experience with it than BFP, and would not assume myopic ROI assumptions that mitigate or ignore various inflation factors (price and currency devaluation), cruise ship contract losses, sales costs (trip and other costs by government representatives), losses associated with unused land-based hotel rooms, diversion of business from local vendors to foreign contractors, non-competitive procurement procedures, publicly financed civil reconstruction projects that were more about cosmetics and less about appropriate deferred capital replacement schedules, additional costs and contingency payments associated with accelerated construction, local inflation of construction materials to citizens and CWC projects as a result of the sudden influx of borrowed money, payoffs (if they exist!?), and so on. Perhaps these questions will help shape your forensic endeavour.

  10. RP- That was the longest sentence I have waded through since reading Proust!

    RA’s desire for forensic precision is rather frustrating, and I think he knows it.

    Figures have been bandied around by the authorities e.g. $316myn outlays (including Oval, road repairs, and security installation) partially offset by $200myn receipts over what we would normally get this time of year, plus $30myn gate receipts for tickets.

    That would leave a gross shortfall of over $80myn conceivably offset by intangible gains since as the advertising value of the exposure on TV, mainly to cricket lovers (who would be unlikely to come here unless there was major cricket on).

    However I think we all know that Government is not going to be forthcoming with the real total. They are accountable to no accountant, whether it be the Accountant Gen. or Ernst & Young.

    We shall be lucky if we can get honest answers about that one item of $200myn for cricket visitor expenditure. So much of what the quantum of what 30,000 (?) or 20,000 (?) cricketers might have spent is being diverted from hotels and restaurants into those cruise ships, that we shall be hardput to know if the extra revenue to the country was over $100myn or not.

    But like it or not there is going to be a VISIBLE shortfall which is going to stare us in the face on the nation’s balance sheet, however much they admit to. That is why that flunky whose name escapes me (Rouse?) has already come out with the fanciful damage control projection:

    “The numbers have indicated that the economic benefits of the ten years are MORE THAN $1BYN”
    (What numbers concocted by which delusionist?)

  11. RP

    pandora-

    I know, the sentence wasn’t long enough, but I was running out of steam. Er, that’s not what you meant, was it?

    My point was that BFP isn’t going to be able to do the analysis to the extent needed, because it isn’t that sort of blog, and they have other things to do. What appears to be a passive aggressive response that challenges methodology isn’t helpful. It seems that the collective intelligence on the BFP blog could assume responsibility to move the conversation forward, as it appears there are knowledgeable people close to the deal. I’m not an accountant, but can make preliminary judgements on a deal based on the preliminary representations, and this one stinks. It’s too bad that this scenario means the accountants and forensic types can only hash the details after the damage has been done.

  12. RP- Your point is valid and accepted.

    BFP can’t be expected to fill in all the details on a highly technical subject. They do amazingly well on a broad spectrum of topics.

    Their job is to launch the boat and let us do the rowing. (That’s “row” as in “hoe”, not “row” as in “how.” 🙂 )

  13. reality check

    to discuss exact methodolgy when there is no freedom of and to information begs the issue.

    Given what we have seen to date from this government, and given the lack of information forthcoming, I do not believe it too cynical to presume the main reason for the choosing CWC 2007 had to do with ego, perceived international prestige and an upcoming 4th election launch.

    This would undoubtedly be the motivation and not any detailed analysis or economic assessment of the short and long term benefits to Barbadians.

    This applies to any party and any persons purporting to represent the citizens and taxpayers.

    The issue remains. There is no accountability, no freedom of information and and no free press.

  14. Rumplestilskin

    Where is the $200m in ‘receipts’ coming from?

    To make me happy with it you would have to refer to it being ‘net tax’ on income generated by CWC.

    For the net tax money is what we are paying out.

    Thus, just stating of $200m receipts generated by CWC indicates that this comes into businesses and thus means that effectively the taxpayers are supporting specific businesses by facilitating CWC, no?

    Remember the saying : lies, dam. lies and statistics.

  15. Rumplestilskin

    PS – by the way.

    The ‘wish list’ just got longer.

    Full and detailed financials and expenditure analyses on the CWC.

    Summary statements of income and expenditures, loans payable, detailed statements of income and expenditures including to whom amounts over $20,000 were paid, relating to what contracts and what tenders.

    Overall loan repayment schedules also.

    Thanks!

  16. RA

    Oh, Dear. I’m now “passive-aggressive” because I think it’s a fair idea to have objective criteria to judge the success / wisdom of the CWC investments.

    RP, thanks for the impressively long list (which mid way through I’m afraid began to sap my will to live) and the fantastically off-base idea that I should be providing BFP with a method of assessing the CWC. Also, Pandora, I’m certainly not asking for “forensic precision.”

    You both appear to think I have in mind the Only Possible Way by which CWC investments ought to be judged; and that such a thing is a “highly technical subject” beyond the scope of the otherwise “broad spectrum of topics” at which BFP do so “amazingly well”.

    Why you feel the need to guess at what I might be thinking, or assign some motive to me that is simply not supported by the black and white on the page is worthy of study. And with vocabularies sporting the impressive “passive-aggressive” you may have the training necessary for such self-analysis rather than gratuitously extending your expertise my direction. Please, accept that I am not sandbagging anyone.

    I do have CWC views, and am happy to share them – but this is not about that. It is about credibility. Simple, incomplete or one-sided postings pandering to the collection of biases on display in this thread alone casts BFP as inflexibly prejudicial. Said biases might be right; or they might be wrong. But you have not made the effort to support them more objectively.

    It is worth making a small aside to RC at this point. Are you certain you are occupying a realistic position based on something other than “feelings”? The magic of free will permits the belief that the collective talents of opposition, the civil service, government and the tried and tested over nearly four centuries processes of laying Estimates before Parliament, debating them and in due course scrutinising the actuals can be consistently perverted by the incumbents. But free will and assertions are not fact, even if presented as such. If you have evidence supporting your allegations, take them to your local opposition MP. This was an important aspect of the 1976 general election. The rest is like so much empty election time rhetoric and mud slinging. But that is another thread despite some admirable efforts here to widen the debate in this one.

    I began this with a one-line question and no hidden agenda – see comment 1. It seems to my newly recognised passive-aggressive nature entirely proper to know how the judgement BFP imply can be made will eventually be arrived at by an objective means (or minimally subjective means). I have always, whatever the topic intervened in at this site, been consistent in asking that BFP judgements, too often sweeping and unfair, be supported by fair comment, fact and balance. On this question they are not.

    ***************************

    Comment by BFP…

    Hello RA

    I’m willing to bet two things 100%…

    1/ The Barbados Government couldn’t themselves list the money they have spent on Cricket World Cup.
    2/ The current “estimate” of a billion dollar return on the games is a number that is picked out of thin air.

    If your sole criteria for a successful CWC is filled seats at the stadium, then it may well have been cheaper to pay each person $1000 to appear for the games!

    Say hello to your European friends for us, ok?

  17. RP

    RA-

    “I have always, whatever the topic intervened in at this site, been consistent in asking that BFP judgements, too often sweeping and unfair, be supported by fair comment, fact and balance. On this question they are not.”

    —–

    It’s a blog, man. You’re asking for journalistic integrity from those who aren’t equipped to deliver what you ask.

    What they can do, however, is put the story, sloppy as it is, in front of the rest of us poor souls who can then use our collective intelligence, knowledge and contacts to clarify, enhance and make sense of it.

    This blog is not a newspaper designed to be passively consumed at leisure. It’s a grand social experiment, a virtual rum shop, relying less on the writers, and more on the readers, to arrive at the truth. It’s way sloppy, but what else have we got?

    I respected your past participatory arguments when they directly addressed points. They fit the genre, fulfilled and clarified the story, and they changed the way some of us thought. It was brilliant. But to passively cry for precision and accuracy from a blog is a trip to nowhere.

  18. RA- All this methodology talk is getting virtually metaphysical. You are right. It is not up to us to guess where you are coming from. It is up to you to make that clear to your readers, surely?

    In brief what benchmarks do you feel best suited to assess the economic success or failure of CWC?

  19. RA

    If there is are a couple of defining characteristic a collective Barbados has amply demonstrated through a long and frequently painful history they are those (in the end) of moderation and fairness. Without wanting to descend into chauvinism, and recognising the considerable downside to being too moderate in the wrong circumstances, they are on balance traits of high quality. RP, it will be ironic if you aren’t Bajan, but you appear to have them in spades. Thanks for a considered reply.

    Clearly you are right in your characterisations of BFP and were it not for the comparisons the site regularly makes between itself, the Nation and Advocate I’d find it easy to have rum & 7, smile and talk (here comes a test of those profanity filters) shy tall knight with everyone else. But when the editors say they “believe that knowledge, transparency and accountability are fundamental to a healthy democracy” I expect them to practice what they preach; and if they don’t to explain why not.

    And in the spirit you set out, here’s a broader non-passive view, I think, of CWC investments.

    Conclusion:
    Past neglect of sporting infrastructure would almost be enough alone to justify the cost. That the financial timing is so providential makes it so. The only post-assessment this observer requires beyond the parliamentary scrutiny already received (I maintain a touching faith in our system) is the usual public audit process so misunderstood, to judge on recent pronouncements by BFP, by so many.

    The forest view:
    Every WI cricket fan knows the state of the local game. Some blame lies with administrators; and some with ridiculously degraded facilities. Some of the same critics of current CWC investments may even have criticised the state of the game and its infrastructure in the past.

    In preparation for this tournament important capital investments have been made across the cricket playing Caribbean, not just by the Barbados government. Leaving aside for now the pay-off associated with the CWC and the costs of building a stadium, there is a legitimate argument that says sporting facilities have suffered longer from underinvestment (and in some cases non-investment) than any other public expenditure area. Viewed thus the opportunity cost argument Pandora touched upon, on a long view, is in fact an argument I’d line up justifying this spending.

    I believe that these Caribbean-wide sporting infrastructure investments will strengthen inter-island sporting and non-sporting bonds; they will lift cricket’s profile regionally; and they will be unquestionably a massive lift for the development process of the game. All that’s very “feely”. But a concrete benefit of better facilities will be a stronger pipeline of players playing on quality wickets leading to, in the medium term, a superior WI team. That speaks to an improved negotiating position for the WICB when it comes to television and advertising rights and more cricket tourists for Test matches. With a lot of skill (some administrative progress required) and some luck a virtuous circle of reinvestment in the game is possible. Cricket becomes a meaningful regional asset in this scenario.

    Specific concerns:
    In terms of timing, there has seldom if ever been a better time to spend on a big project for two reasons. First, the cost of money is low and stable; and it is by independent analysis (S&P and the IMF) a debt that is affordable for Barbados. In fact, were the government not, in such a benign environment, borrowing to invest it would be negligent. Circumstances change but the prevailing economic winds are favourable – it is wrong to castigate this project based on the possibility of an unpredictable catastrophic economic event.

    Equally, it is shortsighted and logically suspect to try and line up the projected receipts from CWC alone against the capex on Kensington and then argue the merits of the spending out of context. Only the misguided would expect a tournament to repay a large capital investment in its entirety.

    This stadium, estimated at US$68m (and frankly a rough estimate will do) will be of benefit long after 2007. Even the most aggressive accountant would give it 15 years useful life (and twice that is more likely) setting out an annual cost, including something generous for upkeep of US$5.5m annually. Take account of the second timing factor – an immediate windfall defraying a large part of the investment in the shape of incremental CWC cricket tourists and their spending cash – and it looks sensible policy.

    Corruption:
    Is this a cronies-only benefit scam? No. Cronies might benefit (some proof would be useful). But the broader benefit is to the wider economy. The construction cost is also income to all associated with the project (non-cronies too). In simple terms, it gets spent and goes toward sustaining the economy. The control of inflation probably is not helped but trading-off is what economics and politics is. And while any corruption linked to the project is abhorrent and punishable, that it might be above “normal” levels and reason enough not to have renovated is cross-eyed reasoning.

    In terms of “is it too expensive” well, maybe. Antiguan renovations cost $21m; Trelawny and Sabina Park cost US$42m and US$46m; and Providence cost US$25m. However, these are not like for like comparisons. Kensington is the largest stadium of the lot and has had demolition, reconstruction and renovation work. That is not the case everywhere, and demolition is expensive. Moreover Barbados has not traded political favours or used bilateral agreements to make the finance. Antigua and Jamaica have used soft loans from the Chinese and Guyana has had nearly half its expenditures come from India.

    In fact, given BFP’s anti-Chinese rhetoric they appear to have missed a trick here by not calling for a boycott of the Antiguan and Jamaican matches whilst simultaneous praising the Barbados government for a proud show of financial independence.

  20. RA

    BFP,

    My “European friends”? Still expending nervous energy nurturing those paranoid persecution neuroses?

    Thinking you know something (in this case based on an IP) and jumping straight to a conclusion is the exact weakness so many of your arguments carry. Is it so difficult to strike balance?

    If you want to know something about me other than name and location, just ask. Does PM Arthur pay me in cash out of a brown paper bag every Friday? Am I on a covert mission to discredit you on behalf of the BLP? Am I a mole at WordPress tracking you down? Just ask – not everyone who visits is practising deception. Some are actually concerned that political and economic debate rises above name-calling and idle, prejudiced speculation. I’ll give you a straight answer but with the qualifications outlined above.

    A footnote: I can, with confidence, tell you that your IT detection skills will have to be amazing to crack (as opposed to guessing) the continent, much less the country, behind the mask. But why lose sleep over an irrelevancy like my identity? Don’t shoot the messenger or assign him motives – try appreciating the criticism instead.

    A shame you choose not to reply directly to the question in comment 1. Seemed so straightforward.