The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in conjunction with FIFA and CONCACAF embarked on a historic infrastructural project dubbed “The Home of Football”.
Construction on the building works of this project began in February 2018, and major construction works is expected to be completed by November 2018 with the official opening carded for February 2019. The TTFA is committed to the future of football in Trinidad and Tobago and believes that the nature and scale of this project will have a tremendous impact on the administration, financing and development of the sport.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and answers regarding the TTFA’s Home of Football project:
1. What does The Home of Football project comprise of?
The project comprises of two (2) major parts which are:
Part A: the construction of a players’ accommodation hotel, and three (3) full-size training pitches already completed.
The three-story hotel comprises of 72 rooms divided into double rooms and suites, each fully equipped with WI-FI, TV’s, as well as a conference room, a cafeteria, medical room and team dining rooms. There is also a secondary building that consists of additional facilities such as dormitories for youth boys and girls’ teams, a main kitchen, a dining room for the youths, changing rooms, a laundry room and additional coaches’ sleeping quarters.
And Part B: a sports entertainment facility (Income Generation Project).
2. What is the Income Generation (IG) project, and what does it entail?
The Income Generation project is the second part of entire project. Located outside the west perimeter of the Ato Boldon Stadium, the IG will be an entertainment hub for sports in Trinidad and Tobago. The project consists of a beach soccer arena, three full size-training fields (to be completed in 2019), and an open space that can be transformed into 3 five-a-side pitches for the small-sided game. This open space can also be used as an entertainment facility, to host carnival events, fetes and other parties.
The facility has a built-in stage that can be used for various activities, an in-house kitchen and a recreational area built to host smaller corporate events and festive parties. This area will also be outfitted with a bar, making it the perfect pre-match and after game spot to chill and hang out with friends.
3. Who is funding the construction of this project, and how much will it cost the TTFA?
The TTFA will not bear any of the construction cost for the building works on this project. FIFA and CONCACAF have committed 100% of $17M TTD needed to complete the construction of the hotel and IG project. This is part of FIFA’s commitment to develop its Member Associations through the FIFA Forward Development Program. This project sits on part of the 17.51 acres of land around the vicinity of the Ato Boldon Stadium, that the TTFA has managed to acquire from the state on lease.
4. For what reason(s) was Couva chosen as the main location to construct the hotel?
The hotel was strategically placed in Balmain, Couva as we believe that in the upcoming years, Couva will become a sporting hub of the Caribbean. Walking distance from the hotel is the state-of-the-art National Cycling Velodrome equipped with a UCI certified cycling track. Apart from hosting regional and international cycling events, the inner part of the Velodrome can be used to host other sporting disciplines such as futsal, volleyball, netball, basketball, and table tennis. Next to the Velodrome lies the National Aquatic Centre boasting of an Olympic sized swimming pool and diving platforms. In close vicinity, there is the Ato Boldon Stadium, which has hosted many regional and international football and track and field tournaments, and a few minutes away are the National Cricket Center as well as the newly built Brian Lara Cricket Academy. National Sporting Bodies can now include the hotel as part of their bidding package to potentially host major international tournaments of their respective discipline ensuring an additional revenue stream for the TTFA.
5. In what way(s) will football benefit from this project?
Trinidad and Tobago’s football will benefit from this project in numerous ways.
A TTFA owned permanent and outfitted facility for the development and training of our footballers- Such facilities are instrumental in development of the national sport and there is evidence that countries who have invested in such facilities have increased their likelihood of world cup qualifications and produced international star quality players. Example, France in 1988, opened the Clairefontaine national training centre and has since produced stars such as Thierry Henry, and England in 2012, opened the St. George’s Park, a state-of-the-art training ground and has seem increased success across in all its football age groups including its youth teams for the first time.
Income generation and sustainability – this facility apart from avoiding significant expenditure on hotel cost for national team live in camps, will be a revenue generation source by hosting other sporting teams (both local and international) throughout the year including public bookings. With an inherited a debt of over 25 million, the hotel will be a vehicle to bring financial ease and set the TTFA on a path of sustainability.
6. Would only the football fraternity be the ones who will benefit from this project?
No. As stated before the close proximity of the hotel, and the Income Generation project to the National Aquatic Centre, National Cycling Velodrome, the Ato Boldon Stadium, the National Cricket Center and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy will ensure that other National Sporting Bodies, international sporting teams as well as our local athletes will have access to the facilities and allow them opportunities to host major international events as well as live-in team camps for winter training for international teams.