Grenada: Sports Minister Emmalin Pierre believes that Grenada`s hosting of the opening games for the Caribbean Premiere League will result in an immense level of marketing for the island`s tourism.
For the first time this year, Grenada will hosts matches in the Twenty20 event, with the national stadium playing host to the opening ceremony July 11 as well as the first three matches in the tournament.
Speaking during a ceremony in which Sandals presented the government of Grenada with EC$1,35,000 ($50,000) to contribute to the cost of acquiring the rights to host the games, Pierre said the exposure Grenada was poised to receive would exceed the money involved.
"What we are going to achieve single handedly on that day, the country will never be able to pay for this. We cannot afford to pay for this, the island and its facility will be on show for the entire world, think about the millions in India and South Africa who will be watching," Pierre said.
"It`s opening a barrage of opportunities. The games will be exposing our young people to the many opportunities that are available through sports."
The CPL opening ceremony will be followed by the first game between Antigua Hawksbills and Guyana Amazon Warriors, last year`s losing finalists.
A double-header will be played the following day, with Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel facing Barbados Tridents in the first game and St Lucia Zouks and defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs squaring off in the second.
Pierre said the tournament`s presence would also have a significant impact on hotel room occupancy, during what is traditionally a slow and low season.
It will cost the government $5,00,000 to host the games and funds are being raised through various partners. The National Lottery Authorities has already contributed $2,50,000.
The CPL runs from July 11 to Aug 17 across eight Caribbean countries.