COO: Boost To Economies Outweighs Expense Of Hosting CPL Jermine Abel Peter Russell and Minister of Sport Shawn Richards The Chief Operations Officer of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Pete Russell says that while the cricket tournament is a costly one for host countries, the benefits outweigh the expense. When questioned on the cost to governments in the region in order to host matches in the tournament, Russell indicated that one has to look at what the tournament does for the local economies. He disclosed that the league has developed the sport of cricket domestically, and also made an impact on the tourism sector of countries that they have visited. Governments gain a lot from the international exposure which comes as a result of CPL promoting the tournament globally, Russel said. “I am not sure that it is necessarily too expensive, I think the onus is on CPL…CPL, as you can see, creates an incredible buzz and it brings people into the islands. It is only going to increase in its value. More markets around the world will invest in it, along with the TV rights, more eyeballs and more people will want to come here and experience it.” Earlier in 2015, it was disclosed that the St. Kitts-Nevis government had entered into a US$7million contract agreement with CPL to have matches played in the Federation. In 2014, the SKN government churned out over US$1million to host the semifinals and finals of the tournament. Then Minister of Sport Glenn Phillip had indicated that the federation saw over US$25million returned into the economy from hosting the games Several other governments in the region however, found it difficult to pay the CPL committee the funds that they sought for hosting matches in this year’s tournament. Currently a cloud is hanging over two of the Premier League franchises- Barbados Tridents and the Guyana Amazon Warriors- due to the organizers losing revenue and a government scrutinizing the work carried out by CPL. The franchises are currently under review. The Government of Guyana is refusing to honor a US$500,000 or G$100million invoice which CPL had submitted for work carried out for the franchise in that country. According to the Minister of Finance in Guyana, Winston Jordan, they will not pay the sum until contracts and other official documents are presented the government. The CPL said they are in discussions with the Guyana Government. These two franchises are not being moved, however. “The Barbados franchise is not moving. It is just something that we are reviewing and discussions are ongoing with the government there…In terms of Guyana a new government has to do its due diligence,” Russel explained. Russell says CPL organizers are looking for the business community to come on board to offset the cost of the games. “All that we are saying is that it is an expensive tournament to run, and we just want people to invest alongside us, especially as we deliver value back. That is what has happened in St. Kitts, and that is what has happened in a number of the other territories as well,” he said.