Although no formal extensive study has been done on the effect of the CPL tournament on the economy of the region, there is no disputing that the approximate 33 matches (played annually over the six years) have been giving a huge boost to the overall economy of participating territories. Though there are no published stats, CPL matches have added significantly to the growth of the economy of the territories – a few percent to GDP. People spent a lot of money related to the matches. The revenues added to each territory is unprecedented and undoubtedly helped economies to flourish. Governments benefited enormously through taxes and the spread effects of spending related to the CPL matches that supported many jobs.
The tourist industry in the region got a boost with CPL and territories would have benefited enormously with the number of people who came from outside the territories as well as locals who moved around to watch the games. Many jobs and much profit were generated. The mass influx of fans and their spending have made CPL a hugely important business that cannot be ignored by governments. Many Guyanese and Trinis flew in from Canada and USA as well as from Guyana and Antigua to watch the play offs in Guyana and Trinidad. Average price of hotel rooms almost doubled and most hotels were almost fully booked. The generation of extra revenues and profits were felt further afield with tourists planning extended trips within each territory.
Money came in from a variety of sources: multitude of sponsorship deals, advertisements, broadcasting rights, sponsorship of games and players, sales of tickets and items related to the games including clothing and other goods and service associated with such an event. All of the related spending would have reaped tens of millions of American dollars for the region. And the spin off of spending is multiplied four times. It is also noted that attention is paid to TV audience, web site, concession sales at the stadium, sponsorship, and various forms of media coverage as well as promotion – all of which add significant revenues to the economy.
In Guyana, as is also the case with other territories, the CPL games have indisputably delivered a wide variety of (economic and social) benefits to the country as a whole, individuals, businesses, and to communities in the greater Georgetown and East Bank Demerara area. The matches have helped to increase personal and business economic prosperity as well as provided employment opportunities to hundreds. In particular, the matches helped to increase the productivity of individuals involved in cricket and those that sell varied items related to the matches and foods near the stadium boosting communities along the way. Besides direct economic benefits like sale of tickets and foods and drinks, there are indirect activities like shopping for appropriate clothing and entertainment (balloons, noise makers, other party favors), cricket equipment, hotels, uniform, tee shorts, advertising, printing, etc. Billions of dollars are added to the economy. Jobs, social get together. There is media coverage, travel from abroad and local transport (car rentals, taxi service, minibus operations, etc). Media such as newspapers, television, the internet, radio, and social media are all providing access to the matches which helps to maintain interest in the games. The matches also showcase Guyana internationally on TV – hopefully creating an impression of our country where business people would want to invest. This helps to maintain interest in their former homeland. And many Guyanese from Canada, USA, Antigua came to watch the playoff games as well as the final in Trinidad. One side had to win the match and naturally there was much disappointment among Guyanese fans. Almost all of them said Guyana needed another 20 runs to make the final competitive. But some felt the 147 scored in the 20 overs could have been successfully defended with tight bowling. Some blame the Guyana defeat on poor batting and bowling (especially by the non-Guyanese players). Some felt one bowler (who happened to be a Trini) bowled terribly throwing away the game. One person penned that Manager Omar Khan (a Trini) did a poor job. No criticism was leveled at him by fans. It was a team performance; the team batted and bowled poorly. Mr. Khan has done exceptionally well managing the team since the CPL began some five years ago (six tournaments).
Some felt there should be more Guyanese in the Amazon Warriors team. Players are recruited from other territories and outside the region to boost chances of winning the title as well as to increase turnout at games and TV viewership especially from outside the region. Viewership brings in a lot of revenues through sponsorship – which is where the bulk of revenues are generated. So one cannot pick an almost all Guyana team for that will limit Ads and other sponsorship. What is needed is a right balance of local and foreign players based on bowling, batting, and all round ability to boost chance of getting into the playoffs and to increase revenues from attendance, sponsorship, viewership, etc – after all CPL is a business. At any rate, there are requirements that a minimum number of players come from other territories and internationally.
Besides economic benefits, the CPL matches also have contributed in the social area such as raising aspirations of youngsters to become CPL cricketers forcing them to increase skill levels in the sports. Youths will be encouraged to aspire to become better cricketers so that they can be chosen for matches. This will force them to seek better training so as to improve upon their skills. This would help many to keep out of trouble with the law. It is a form of entertainment during peoples’ time off from work. It is also noted that the matches provided an opportunity for social interaction at the stadium bringing diverse people together and helping to narrow social and ethnic differences. It promoted social cohesion.
When one does the math, tens of millions in American dollars are added to the economy and this money is re-cycled through various economic activities. Overall, it is estimated that the CPL matches contributed annually perhaps 5% of GDP to Guyana economy if not more. Similar numbers may be found for other territories. CPL has earned and deserved more government support. Governments should sponsor and promote these matches for it is the only sport that brings the entire diverse nation together.
And because of its impact on the economy, there should be added a couple more teams and bidding for more matches to be played especially in the larger territories like Trinidad, Guyana, and Jamaica (especially away from the major cities) to boost their economies. Aside from matches at the Providence, Sabina (Kingston) and Brian Lara (Tarouba, San Fernando) stadiums, consideration should be given to playing matches in the ancient county of Berbice (Albion), Port of Spain, Montego Bay, and other locations that were neglected so as to give a spurt to the economy in those regions. Albion, for example, at one time, did host first class cricket as well as one day internationals. More games in Guyana or Trinidad or the other territories will bring more revenues to each territory.