The Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) is a facility built by Allen G Stanford in 2004. It hosted all Stanford Twenty20 matches in 2006 and 2008 as well as the Stanford Super Twenty20 Series in November 2008. The facility was eventually put into receivership. In 2016, Cricket West Indies Inc. (CWI), in conjunction with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, submitted an offer to purchase said facility, which was favouraby received by the liquidators.
The facility features the following:
- 7,000 person capacity stadium complete with covered 700 seat grandstand including press offices and administrative offices and public bathrooms
- Complete irrigation system for watering the outfield and television production facilities
- Two (2) Player Pavilions with fully equipped as player dressing rooms
- Sticky Wicket Restaurant with full unobstructed view of cricket field
- Athletic Club with fully equipped gymnasium contiguous to the Cricket Ground
- Car Park with a capacity for over 300 cars
- Seven (7) Containerized Offices used in the past for administration and ticketing
- Television Production Facilities
- Warehousing and offices located under the Stands
- Generators capable of powering the entire complex
- 1500 gallon Generator Fuel Storage
- Underground Water Storage totaling approx. 250,000 Gallons
- 4 Light towers suitable for sufficient illumination of the Stadium to host night games
- Elements already in place for the establishment of a WI Cricket Museum
Other attributes of the acquisition include:
- Proximity to the V.C. Bird International Airport
- Legacy of T20 cricket matches played between 2006 and 2008
- Inventory of facility equipment and infrastructure including access to Athletic Club/Gym and carpark
- Government keen on CWI consolidating its operations in Antigua and showing permanence as the headquarters of West Indies cricket
- Partnership with Government can be seen as positive instilling confidence in investors and sponsors and providing long term commitment to ensure its future success
- The relocation of the operations of Cricket academy in facilities owned by UWI Cave Hill, Barbados provides the flexibility for CWI to develop a world class cricket academy which meets the needs of CWI at facilities owned by CWI
- Potential for the construction of suitable accommodation on the site to house players involved in the various camps to be hosted at the facility
- New airport development and growth in the airlift into and out of Antigua enhances accessibility to destination and by extension to CWI.
Drivers for developing the Business Concept:
- The acquisition provides CWI with the ability to consolidate all its training and preparatory camps in an environment which is tailor-made and using facilities which are of a world class standard thus enhancing its core business activities.
- It permits the CWI to market the use of the facilities to a number of visiting County/Club/ICC Americas/Franchise Teams thereby generating revenue to offset some of the running costs
- It gives CWI greater levels of control over CWI regional tournaments and activities which it may wish to host
- It permits the development of personnel skilled in the maintenance of the facility including in ground and pitch preparation
- CWI will be seen to be associated with a facility for its High Performance/Academy that can rival the other ICC Full Member Countries who have long since made the investment in such facilities
- Leasing of restaurant/souvenir shop/museum
- Enhances the Balance Sheet of CWI with the acquisition of a major fixed asset at a fair price which has a bankable appeal giving potential lenders a greater level of comfort
- As part of its ongoing preparation of WI representative Teams, CWI conducts numerous training camps and remedial camps across the region, all at significant costs in terms of accommodation, travel, access to gym and practice facilities. These will now be better contained and managed. In addition, by concentrating these activities at the CCG, the CWI is in a position to obtain sponsorship of the facility and to provide sponsors with value and benefits. Sponsors are more likely to take a favourable view if they can see the steady stream of activity which will be promoted.
Cricket West Indies’ Commitment:
Rehabilitation of the cricket ground so that it is fit to host first class matches and ultimately the hosting of an ICC International cricket match is invaluable in raising the profile of CWI and promoting an enhanced brand value. However, central to everything is the development of Cricket in the region, being the central hub for training and development camps for young, elite male and female cricketers. The idea of having a central hub that has all the necessary components – coaches and cricket administrators within the Secretariat, facilities conducive to delivering an environment of excellent pitches, practice nets, lights, gymnasium facilities to enhance attaining optimal fitness levels, easily accessible destination with suitable amenities, food and accommodation- all within easy reach, owned by CWI and recognized by the operators as being an integral part of their own operations.
History instils pride especially among those who have their own contribution to make. Developing a cricket museum and Hall of Fame to tell the story of West Indian cricket and its cricketers and it origins, relating it to other sports eg baseball and other cultures, tracing the evolution and its significance to the peoples of the Caribbean and then sharing this with the many visitors to the region and attaining a standard that it becomes a fixture on the tourist’s calendar – stay over tourists, cruise ship passengers, regional and international visitors and local patrons. The key feature to have a successful tourist attraction is the story and the storytellers/guides that are trained to deliver an exciting, entertaining, relevant and factual depiction of the journey of cricket in the West Indies and its relevance to the world. To achieve this, one would have to engage a cadre of persons including cricket historians to develop the story and then creative talent to convert it to being an entertaining delivery by carefully selected storytelling tour guides. This facilitates the promotion of the sport as well as the enhancement of the tourism product of Antigua and Barbuda.
Operationalising the Sticky Wicket Restaurant – It is envisaged that a dining-in restaurant and bar at the Airport would offer significant opportunities for a professional restauranteur, attracting clientele from both arriving and departing airport passengers as well as a local clientele. The added advantage of being in St John’s presents itself with the opportunity to provide catering and hosting of business functions to local businesses in a safe and secure environment with adequate parking. The restaurant is already fully equipped and could be made fully functional with minimal effort. An operator may however wish to customize the surroundings to suit his particular need. The total area of the building which houses the restaurant is 11,200 square feet and it is our intent to lease all but 2,000 square feet which will be developed as the museum/hall of fame. This will complement the already displayed numerous pictures and artifacts mounted throughout the restaurant.