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Independence Park (Jamaica)

Coordinates: 18°00′07″N 76°46′18″W / 18.00194°N 76.77167°W / 18.00194; -76.77167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Independence Park
The Office
Interior of the stadium
Full nameIndependence Park
LocationKingston, Jamaica
Field sizeunknown
Jamaica national football team (1962–present)

Independence Park is a sports and cultural complex[1] in Kingston, Jamaica built for the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. It houses a variety of sports facilities. A statue of Bob Marley marks the entrance to the site.[1] The main sports venue at the complex is the National Stadium.

The National Stadium[edit]

The National Stadium is primarily used for football (being the home field of the Jamaica Football Federation) but is also considered the apex of Athletic competition in the West Indies being home to Jamaica's national athletic team for the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.

It was built for the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games[citation needed], for which it was the main stadium hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field and cycling events. It was also home to the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. It holds 28,500 people.[2] The Grandstand's seating capacity is 5,400 and Bleachers seating capacity is 23,100 people

Facilities include:

  • a 400m IAAF regulation running track (a warm up track east of the main stadium was recently renovated to create a second world class competition track)
  • a 500m concrete velodrome which encircles the running track
  • a FIFA regulation football pitch
  • a media centre
  • 11 private suites and a royal box.

A statue of Olympic gold medallist Don Quarrie guards the entrance to the stadium.[1]

Other statues in the complex include those of Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley and Merlene Ottey.[3]

Olympic sized swimming and diving pools[edit]

The pools were built to host the aquatic events of the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games[citation needed]. The main swimming pool was modified to accommodate the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games which required that distances be in yards as opposed to metres[citation needed]. It currently seats 8,500[citation needed].

The National Arena[edit]

The National Arena was built to host the Weightlifting and Wrestling events of the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. It holds 6,000 people and was opened in 1963.

It is now used for a wide range of activities including sports tournaments (netball, table tennis, etc.), trade exhibitions, flower shows, the National Festival song and costume competitions[4] and state funerals.[5] Bob Marley and the Wailers performed there in '75. The 1982 Youth Consciousness Festival hosted Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff.

The National Indoor Sports Complex (NISC)[edit]

The National Indoor Sports Complex was built adjacent to the National Arena to host the 2003 IFNA Netball World Championships. It holds 6,000 people and opened in 2002. It also is used to host events such as parties, fashion shows as well as other sports such as basketball.

Leila Robinson Netball Courts[edit]

These are outdoor netball courts located in between the basketball courts and Swimming Complex. It is named after Leila Robinson, the first ever netball coach and manager for the Sunshine Girls. It underwent renovations at the end of 2014 into 2015 where the complex, which hosts four netball courts, received a new surface, replacing the outdated rubberized surface as well as new stands, located on the right side of the complex, which now accommodated persons with disabilities.[6] The renovations cost upward of $23 million.[6]

The Institute of Sports[edit]

The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) was established in 1978 by the Government of Jamaica to promote the development of sport at the national level. It is located beside the National Arena.[7] The building houses the Jamaica Table Tennis and Volleyball associations at the bottom floor; Netball Jamaica, Special Olympics and Basketball (JABA) associations on the second floor; and the Institute of Sports on the top floor.

Stadium Courts[edit]

These are the outdoor basketball courts located beside the Leila Robinson Netball Courts. The complex hosts two basketball courts with stands to the left of the complex.

Stadium Concerts[edit]

Bob Marley's One Love Peace Concert was a large concert held on April 22, 1978 at the national stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

The One Love Peace Concert brought together 16 of reggae’s Biggest Acts, and was dubbed by the media as a “Third World Woodstock”, “Bob Marley Plays For Peace” and simply, “Bob Marley Is Back.” The concert attracted more than 32,000 spectators with the proceeds of the Show going toward “Much Needed Sanitary Facilities And Housing For The Sufferahs In West Kinston.” The concert kicked off at exactly 5:00 P.M. with a message from Asfa Wossen, The Crown Prince Of Ethiopia, praising the concert organizers’ efforts to restore peace in Jamaica.[citation needed]

In 2022, African star Burna Boy held the last leg of his Love, Damini tour in the stadium alongside Popcaan. Burna Boy became the first African artist to sell out the stadium with a total of 33,125 attendees grossing over 550,250,420 JMD. The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett lauded Nigerian International music star, Burna Boy for a stellar performance that attracted thousands of locals and visitors to the island's capital, Kingston on December 18, 2022[citation needed]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Independence Park Information - Hotels near Independence Park - Hotels close to Independence Park". Archived from the original on 29 August 2010.
  2. ^ https://independenceparkltd.gov.jm/
  3. ^ Chessbase News, Jamaica welcomes Mega GM Nigel Short, Ian Wilkinson, 2006-01-26.
  4. ^ Philpott, Don (2000). Jamaica. H.M. Stationery Office. ISBN 978-1-901522-31-0.
  5. ^ Ritch, Dawn (20 May 2001). "A poor example at the Arena". The Jamaica Gleaner. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. The National Arena is traditionally the site of official funerals. This is the place where Jamaica honours its dead who have distinguished themselves in life with selfless and notable service to the nation.
  6. ^ a b "Leila Robinson Courts Get State-Of-The-Art Playing Surface – Jamaica Information Service".
  7. ^ "Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) | Office of the Prime Minister". Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Central American and Caribbean Games
opening venues

Succeeded by
Preceded by British Empire and Commonwealth Games
opening venues

Succeeded by

18°00′07″N 76°46′18″W / 18.00194°N 76.77167°W / 18.00194; -76.77167