As mentioned last night, the football field at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium is in no way adequate to host BandFest 2014. The field is covered with ashes and organizers deemed it unfit to hold the event hence why the venue was changed to Corozal.
Since the news broke out, there is no shying away from the fact that there has been a lot of finger pointing with people wanting to know why the field was not ready and who is at fault. For clarification, the People’s Stadium is managed by the Orange Walk Sports Council, chaired by Mr. Derrick Gillette, who responds to the National Sports Council, which falls under the Ministry of Sports.
Amongst those being accused for the present conditions of the People’s Stadium, is the Orange Walk Town Council, who, according to Mayor of Orange Walk, has nothing to do with upkeep of the stadium.
Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town
“First of all, I want to express my utter disgrace and disappointment at the Orange Walk Sport Council and let us be clear, the Orange Walk sport Council, the Ministry of Sports, whose direction the People’s Stadium falls under. We have seen the People’s Stadium being neglected, the facility is deteriorated, when we went there along with the people from Love FM to look at the place, I was caught a back to see the condition of the People’s Stadium. While on the social media people were trying to say that the Orange Walk Town council had anything to do with it and that is not so and I want to make it absolutely clear, the Orange Walk Town council has no jurisdiction over the People’s Stadium and no don’t manage the People’s Stadium and that is managed by the Orange Walk Sport’s Council which is chaired by I understand by Mr. Derrick Gillette who is the chairman of the Sport’s Council and the Ministry of sports which falls directly under the responsibility of the Government of Belize and that is where the blame should lie. We saw people taking photo ups a few weeks ago and the Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk Central taking opportunity thinking that he was saving the People’s Stadium just to show that instead of saving the People’s Stadium they destroyed the People’ Stadium.”
We understand that twenty three vendors had already signed up for the event and hotel rooms were already booked. Some of those rooms are being canceled due to the change of venue. Without a doubt it is and economic loss for Orange Walk, one that the council laments.
Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town
“The vendors should have benefitted, the small businesses should have benefitted I could recall when Band Fest was in Orange Walk the last time there was no food available in this town; the restaurants were rarely sold out, the food places were all gone, the little vendors benefitted, the tacos stand benefitted so it is a lost to us and to the local economy here in Orange Walk Town. The council was in charge of the stalls and so and those people who have paid we have contacted them already some will be reimbursed and some will be taken over to Corozal so the monies that were paid, it is only about 23 vendors but still it is a significant amount of money that these people had invested already so these people will go to Corozal and we are going to be reimbursing the monies that they paid to Estereo Amor so that they coordinate that activity with the Corozal Town Council there.”
In a release issued today, the Orange Walk Town Council demanded an explanation from the Sports Council as to the deplorable conditions of the facilities at the People’s Stadium. The council also called on the Ministry of Sports to immediately investigate the circumstances which led to the organizers of Band Fest making the critical decision to move the event.
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