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St Lucia’s sports facilities fiasco

Dear Sir

At a sitting of the House of Assembly in Saint Lucia on March 19, 2024, Prime Minister Philip Pierre sought approval to guarantee EC$80 million for the National Lotteries Authority to update sports facilities, etc., was a classic example whereby the solution to the problem will be worse than the problem itself. However, this solution will solve the short-term problems of the recipients of cash for construction.

Here’s what I am talking about!

The government has misunderstood the social and economic benefits of sporting facilities in solving community problems. In addition, the model whereby the government will only guarantee the loan and not take the loan is flawed and aimed at sugarcoating an ill-advised decision to pretend to benefit the youth at no cost.

This is not true because the youth and their parents will end up paying back that loan at-a time when the value of these facilities will be zero or close to zero. Spending EC$80 million to end up with nothing while the political elitists will benefit substantially at the expense of the poor. This is another poverty vehicle.

Sports facilities have been designed with a financial model structured to make them self-sustainable financially while producing excess cash to be injected into the communities. However, they are not merely designed and used for sporting activities. They are designed with an infrastructure whereby the community and visitors can socialize, spend money and produce a Return on Investment (ROI) for the various stakeholders. There are various models which can accomplish these goals but can only be discussed on a consultancy basis.

Nothing is free!

If there is a scenario in which the National Lotteries Authority seemingly default on the loan payment, the prime minister did not disclose the revenue streams which will be used to generate the monthly payments. In addition, the prime minister did not disclose the revenue-generating infrastructure that will be put in place to service the loan.

Further, the mortgage ostensibly cannot be serviced by fees collected at the gates for games. Finally, if the government expects that loan to be financed by locals, then this will result in a shift in spending by locals away from groceries to sporting events.

This is the perfect recipe for poverty creation!

The socio-economic benefits will only be impactful if these facilities are conceptualized, designed and operated with foreign currency generation tools. Otherwise, these facilities will be expensive “White Elephants” with the burden to be carried by the next generation through tax increases and reduced spending on areas like education and health.

This concept falls under the subject of “Tourism Development.”

As a result, tourism experts are better equipped on how to position these facilities for social and economic benefits to communities. In addition, these facilities require extensive international marketing and must be integrated into the airline arrangements, the diaspora and tourism in general.

In conclusion, five years from now, Saint Lucians will be faced with another loan to be repaid and facilities in total disrepair. This is why – Small Island Development States like Saint Lucia will continue to be Third World countries and not elevate to First World status.

Monica Fevrier



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