JC prime for Premier League use – Hill
PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL Jamaica Limited (PFJL) CEO Owen Hill believes that the Ashenheim Stadium, located on the grounds of Jamaica College (JC), has the making of a prime centralised Jamaica Premier League (JPL) venue, following the first game of the league there on Sunday.
Hill said the facility is of a high quality with good lighting, seating accommodation, parking, and other amenities, and he expects that the location will be attractive to neutrals who want to see top-flight domestic football.
“The initial matchup between Molynes and Harbour View was executed pretty well. It is a venue we are looking to add to the overall pool of things,” he said.
“It will definitely allow people to come out. It is a relatively new stadium. It is a multipurpose complex, but the amenities and facilities are top tier.
“The changing rooms are fantastic! It has adequate seating that can hold more than 1,500, and there is enough parking – safe parking. It is centrally located and has good facilities for football.”
Hill, a former University of the West Indies player in the JPL, believes that the easy accessibility of the Ashenheim Stadium and its centralised location would create a pleasant football atmosphere for fans.
“Because it is not based in a community, it gives the neutrals an opportunity to come out and experience football at the highest level.
“The clubs really like the space. It is different from what they are generally accustomed to. It is one of the venues we want to build a relationship with as it is everything that would facilitate good football,” he continued.
The PFJL is also looking at hosting Monday night games there, but because the school term is still in progress, he anticipates that this might present some problems.
“The school is in their track and field season, so Monday games might pose a problem. But on Sundays, we are definitely a go, and this Sunday, we will be having a double header,” he noted.
Although in the past, some players have complained about the quality of the playing surface, Hill contends that the JFF has deemed it to be of a sufficient standard.
Although the venue has been earmarked as Harbour View’s temporary home ground until that club has completed the refurbishing of its stadium, Hill said they intend to continue using it long term as it is far less expensive than some of the major venues such as Stadium East.
“It [the field] is not top tier, but it has been approved by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), which speaks to a certain level of specification.
“It is not the National Stadium. It is not Stadium East but up to the standard of most of the other fields in the island.
“It’s a big addition to our pool, and it will boost our efforts to commercialise professional football in Jamaica, and it will limit the overreliance on any one football field.”