CPL

Jamaica sourcing support for Tallawahs - Sports Minister

By January 09, 2019

Jamaica Sports Minister Olivia Grange has confirmed that she has been in discussions with the owners of the Jamaica Tallawahs with the aim of finding a way to keep the franchise in the country.

Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller told Sportsmax.TV last week that it is likely that they will drop Jamaica at the end of the month in favour of another Caribbean island should the government fail to provide them with the necessary support that will enable the franchise to remain viable.

The annual operating budget of the Tallawahs is somewhere in the region of US$2.5m which covers players’ wages, hotel and airfare and per diem.

However, the Tallawahs barely get any corporate support from Jamaican businesses with Foska Oats being the only local sponsor. The government has only contributed US$35,000 over the past two seasons. As a result, the Tallawahs suffered massive losses of US$1.8m in 2018 and US$1.5 the year before.

“We just can’t continue in the way we have in the past. We have no support,” Miller told Sportsmax.tv.

 “The government just doesn’t see the value of the Tallawahs. I’ve been getting a lot of talk for the last two to three months about having discussions with the sports minister and the prime minister and they haven’t come to anything.”

Minister Grange confirmed that she has been in dialogue with the franchise owners but revealed that there are limits to what the government is able to do to support the franchise.

“Yes, as minister of sports I am in discussions with them and hope to find a way to give some support,” she said.

“There are challenges identifying funding in light of financial constraints but we continue to work towards finding a solution.”

A recent report showed that for the two games the Tallawahs played at Sabina Park in Kingston in 2018, Jamaica benefitted to the tune of US$10.5m. The economic impact is a measure of the organiser’s spend, visitors spend and jobs created.

The Tallawahs create about 250 jobs each season and have 12 full-time employees. The two games they played in Jamaica last year generated 2400 hotel room nights.  

Meanwhile, Miller said the government wants to keep the Tallawahs in Jamaica but they will have to find a way to keep the franchise, who is being wooed by other Caribbean islands desperate to be the new home.

Miller said a partnership with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and offering other concessions such as a discount on the US$35,000 they pay to Sabina Park Holdings for each match played at Sabina Park should be considered to ease the financial burden the owners face to keep the Tallawahs, two-time CPL champions, alive.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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