Dear Editor: Machel’s One Show was dangerous to patrons and the HC Stadium surface

“[…] Some keen observations coming out of the show—apart from the long lines and late gates—was the failure to fully protect the football pitch, as areas of green could be seen toward the back end of the fete.

“[…] What could be the repercussions of this heavy foot traffic, alcohol spilling and high heel digging, you ask? A damaged pitch of course…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the potential damage to the Hasely Crawford Stadium by Machel Montano’s One Show was submitted to Wired868 by A Concerned Sports Lover, with expertise in facility management:

Soca star Machel Montano.
(Copyright Chaso Media)

The soca versus sport stadium saga continues—and by that I mean the battle every Carnival season for the use of the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Granted, it has been eased up somewhat by the Brian Lara Stadium becoming fete venue number two and two refurbished Skinner Park (with its miniature football field) possibly becoming venue number three.

Unlike years gone by where three to four shows would be held inside the main stadium in a single Carnival season, this year the Hasely Crawford Stadium only hosted “one show”. (Pun intended!)

Some keen observations coming out of the show—apart from the long lines and late gates—was the failure to fully protect the football pitch, as areas of green could be seen toward the back end of the fete.

Parts of the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s football field was exposed during Machel Montano’s One Concert on Friday 17 February 2023.

The protective flooring was fully present for fetes/concerts in the past.

What could be the repercussions of this heavy foot traffic, alcohol spilling and high heel digging, you ask? A damaged pitch of course!

All these factors can lead to an uneven ground surface and dead grass.

At this point, let’s hope that in the next major football match at the venue a striker doesn’t twist his ankle as he’s about to shoot for goal.

Another main concern in relation to Machel’s concert is that there is still construction work on-going. How can we host major events like this, with thousands of patrons, in a place that is under construction?

Thousands of soca fans line up outside of the Hasely Crawford Stadium for entrance to Machel Montano’s One Concert on 17 February 2023.

Again, let’s hope the caution tape was enough to protect intoxicated partygoers!

Events at stadia are nothing new, in Trinidad and Tobago or abroad, and are something we have to live with. In the best examples, like the Fifa World Cup final and the Super Bowl, organisers do it well, quickly, and with all preventative measures in place.

My question is: when will we in Trinidad and Tobago get it right?

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4 comments

  1. Very enlightening article and well researched and written.
    Hope someone help rectify.

  2. Stadiums all over the world is used for the same purpose but Tnt problem is maintenance

  3. Maybe never?? The last time MM had his show in the stadium they were specifically advised to not dig holes. Lo and behold, the track was left with huge holes resulting in costly replacement of same in preparation for upcoming track meets.

  4. This will take place because of cronyism,favouritism with officials in the government and relevant authouritues who were incompetent in their job of protecting the site and safety of patrons.What a disgrace!!The whole shebang was a disaster and leaves a bitter taste with those who suffered this nightmare.

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