Daily Archives: April 1, 2007

Cricket World Cup’s Chris Dehring – “Poor Fan Interest Unlikely To Have Major Financial Impact Because Sponsorship Is Secured and Tickets Pre-Sold”

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Sure, Cricket World Cup Will Be Ok – But What About Those Devastated Countries That You Suckered Into Sponsorship?

What About The Half BILLION Tax Dollars That Barbadians Sunk Into This Disaster?

Cricket Organisers And Friends Are Partying – They Profited And Don’t Have To Pay The Bill!

It is the height of elitist arrogance.

Managing director and CEO of Cricket World Cup tells the New Zealand Herald words to the effect “We’ve made our money. Too bad about all you other suckers!”

Barbados sunk US$500 Million into Cricket World Cup – all borrowed, of course. Let’s see here… at a modest 6% that would be US$30 Million in annual INTEREST ONLY payments.

Dehring will regret giving the interview – or to be more specific, that he told the truth.

Excerpts from New Zealand Herald’s Cricket: Where Have The Fans Gone?

Cricket: Where Have The Fans Gone?

ANTIGUA – Organisers of cricket’s showpiece event at one of the world’s dream tourist destinations are facing empty seats inside stadiums and poor business with vacant hotel rooms outside them.

The seven-week Cricket World Cup in the West Indies was promoted as a perfect sports tourism package, with sun-drenched beaches and the chance to watch the sport’s elite contest its biggest one-day prize.

However, organisers and the tourism industry for the eight Caribbean nations staging World Cup matches are bitter after a fraction of the tens of thousands of fans expected actually took up the expensive trip.

Last week’s shock first-round elimination of India, the team with the biggest fan base, has sent panic waves across the region with the multi-million dollar businesses around it scrambling to cut losses…

“It is like Brazil going out in the first round of a soccer World Cup,” Chris Dehring, managing director and CEO of the tournament, told Reuters.

“There is virtually no substitute when a team like India goes out in terms of a travelling contingent,” he said outside the brand new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

West Indies’ struggle for form is not helping either — they have now lost heavily to Australia and New Zealand and face a real battle to qualify for the semi-finals.

Dehring said the poor fan interest was unlikely to have a major financial impact because sponsorship had been secured and the majority of tickets pre-sold.

However, he admitted the situation was causing concern for an event which had been estimated to make a profit of around US$240 million ($341 million).

…Local governments were persuaded to build new stadiums and hotels with funding from foreign government and hoteliers were asked to be ready for the extra visitors during the peak holiday season leading up to Easter. Some even evicted their tenants before ramping up their tariffs, but their hopes of making quick money has been dashed, leaving everyone from hotel owners to cab drivers frustrated.

The fans have partly been kept away due to high entrance prices — tickets for Super Eights are priced between US$25 and US$100 — and the misconception that regulations bar music bands in the grounds.

The ICC later told Reuters that this was not the case and instruments could be taken into the stadiums providing they had local organising committee prior permission.

Neil Forrester, general manager of the Antigua Hotel and Tourist Association, said the whole concept had been flawed from the beginning.

“This is the busiest season in the Caribbean but hotels don’t seem to be busy,” he told Reuters. “Every island is complaining.”

He believes organisers were wide of the mark about fans, particularly after many well heeled Indian expatriates cancelled their bookings following India’s elimination.

“Overall this is an expensive destination which is not ideal for this type of event,” Forrester said.

… merchandise outlets heavily stocked with Indian team clothing were wringing their hands in despair. … Dejected Indian fans were also selling their match tickets on the e-Bay website.

Dehring said many other factors had led to the situation.

Ticket prices were high because regional governments wanted to recover the large sums spent on infrastructure.

… Some of the best seats in the stadiums were also empty because sponsors, many of them Indian companies, had purchased tickets in advance but now had no takers. Dehring hoped the fans of champions Australia and the English would help save the situation in the end.

“We are in discussion with the governments and will be looking at incentives from a marketing perspective for some matches,” he said.

It was unrealistic to expect a packed stadium every time, though, he stressed. “Bangladesh versus Ireland, you can’t expect too many. That is due to the vagary of sport.”

… read the full article online at the New Zealand Herald (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Bajan Reporter Covering Some Important Stories – Gays, Single Moms, Immigration, Government Construction and … Ballroom Dancing In Barbados

Ian Bourne has been working hard at his Bajan Reporter blog and it is developing quite a following. Ian covers local community stories in a way that we don’t, and he takes photos where we can’t. (If we take a photo of three drummers banging away at a fete and then publish it on BFP – we’re sunk!)

Ian takes a different view with links than we do. Where we like to tell you where a link goes beforehand, on Ian’s blog you never really know where some of the links within the stories will take you. It is not better or worse than our system, just different. We’d like to hear some reader feedback about the two systems, so if you wouldn’t mind, please have a look at Ian’s links within a story and ours and tell us what you think.

Bajan Reporter Stories Worth A Read Today

Latin Ballroom Dancing Contest In Barbados

Canadian Transplant Looks At Barbadian Hypocrisy

Ian Bourne comments on Bajan blogger Bim’s rant about never being accepted even though this is home.

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Jamaican Rednecks vs Barbadian Conservative Liberality

Two gays had to be saved by police from a Jamaican crowd ready to kill them. Police had to launch tear gas and use batons against those who wanted a lynching. Ian looks at the incident and at the Bajan attitude of looking the other way even though our anti-gay laws are still on the books just like Jamaica’s.

The Invasion of Strathclyde

Ian looks at government housing construction that is damaging his property and his neighbours’ homes.

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Tsunami Of Hotel Cancellations From Indian Cricket Fans – West Indies Loss Today Means Barbados Is In Serious Trouble

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“Doan Worry. Be Happy!” … Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch

Barbados Hotel Workers Being Laid Off Already

Even that government mouthpiece newspaper The Nation News is now being forced to report what everybody knows already – many Barbados hotels are like ghost towns when they would normally be full at this time of the year.

All the publicity about Cricket World Cup frightened away many of our regular visitors. As well, many of the trusting hoteliers blocked off huge chunks of rooms for all those thousands of visitors coming from overseas to watch powerhouse teams like Pakistan and India – not to mention the fleet of ocean liners that was to darken the horizon for the finals.

Oops!

In an attempt to retain what respect they can after actively pushing the government “Everything be OK” message way past all credibility, today the Nation News published an article Hotel Blues.

You should read the whole article, but here are some quotes. Pay attention to the language. This not the polite obfuscation that we have previously seen from The Nation News…

“hoteliers… left reeling from the impact of massive cancellations by supporters of those teams (India and Pakistan)”

“Other hoteliers could not tally their losses, but said they were scrambling to fill rooms.”

A hotelier with a luxury South Coast property who requested anonymity, said business was so bad he expected some workers to be laid off from this week. “April is looking like the worse month for winter,” he said, noting his hotel would not even scrape a 40 per cent occupancy rate.

… from The Nation News Hotel Blues.

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West Indies Team Exit From World Cup “Could Trigger Commercial Disaster”

If Stephen Price, commercial director of Cricket World Cup, was a jet fighter pilot, he would already have lowered his face shield and would be in the process of straightening his back just prior to pulling the ejection seat handles.

Mr. Price?

Make sure your head is way back tight against seat, and don’t forget to tense up that back and lock in those elbows. If you’re sitting in a Martin-Baker, the lower handles are always the best way to say goodbye!

WI Early Exit Could Trigger Commercial Disaster

India Times

ST. JOHN’S (Antigua), April 1: A defeat for hosts West Indies against Sri Lanka could signal a commercial disaster for the organisers of the World Cup.

Stephen Price, commercial director of the World Cup, said that if the West Indies were to go out at such an early stage of the tournament, ticket sales, advertising and merchandising would take a heavy blow.

The money-making potential of the event has already been affected with India and Pakistan being ousted in the preliminary round. If the West Indies lose to Sri Lanka in Guyana on Sunday, they would virtually have no chance of making the semi-finals.

“A lot hinges on Sunday’s match and we would be hit a heavy blow if the West Indies were to go out at this stage,” Price said.

“As we saw in 2003 when South Africa went out early, there were some serious repercussions and the crowds just stayed away. We do not want a repeat of that this time around.

“It’s hugely important that the West Indies win and keep their heads above water.”

Price said fans snapped up team jerseys after the West Indies won their three first round matches. But the interest has dipped after the hosts lost their first two Super Eight matches to Australia and New Zealand, he noted.

He added that if the West Indies have a revival of fortunes, it could trigger spectator interest again as they had upcoming matches in Grenada and Barbados.

… read the article online at India Times (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism