MCC not just for FFB but for All Belizeans Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00

Hon. Herman LongsworthThe Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth, held a press briefing on Wednesday, December 19th, to address concerns raised by a group of individuals, who are protesting the use of the MCC Grounds for non sporting events. His message to them was simple: “The MCC Grounds is owned by the National Sports Council and there is no plan to turn ownership over to any other organization.”

The protesters spread around photos of the condition of the field that were taken the morning after the concert in an attempt to draw support to their cause. Minister Longsworth and those familiar with the pitch at the MCC know that the damage seen in the pictures is comparable to that of “any football match played in rainy conditions”. Longsworth said that he is more concerned about the damage outside of the pitch which was caused by motor vehicles. As a result, the council has adopted a policy to ban the use of vehicles in the compound.

The council will continue to rent out the grounds for public events because, according to Longsworth, “it is the only enclosed and secure venue for mass public activities.” He said, “As a sporting facility, clearly sporting activities will be given first preference” but if there is no sporting activity scheduled, the council reserves the rights to rent the facility for public festivities. Longsworth said, “We have a moral responsibility to assist at this time when there is no venue for huge cultural and social activities.”

Organizers of events at the MCC Grounds are asked to pay a deposit in addition to the rental fee in case of damages caused to the compound. That deposit will be used for restoration of the grounds if necessary. The National Sports Council had already earmarked funds for the upliftment of the MCC Grounds and operations will commence as soon as weather permits. Longsworth closed the press briefing by saying “until we can find someplace else to hold massive cultural events, we must be flexible with the MCC Grounds.”