NASSAU, Bahamas, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bahamas will make history on May 23, 2013 as its new $30 million Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium will serve as host to an exhibition match between Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the Jamaican national football team on Nassau Paradise Island.
Both teams accepted an invitation from the Government of The Bahamas, which set the stage for the first match featuring a Premier League Club in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The match will also mark one of the major events in the new 15,000-seat stadium as well as in the year-long celebration of The Bahamas' 40th anniversary of independence. The stadium and the country hosting two world-class soccer teams in this international event is another indication of The Bahamas' growth in prominence over the past four decades.
While The Bahamas is best known to consumers as an easily accessible tropical getaway, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is also hoping to stake a claim as a destination for sports tourism by making investments in the industry and establishing partnerships that promote the islands as a location for both sports participation and spectating.
"We are delighted at the opportunity to host this first-rate event, which will mark a new and exciting thrust in our efforts to support and encourage global sporting events at all levels" said Mr. David Johnson, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
He continued: "This event will serve to further validate our decision to focus on the development of sports tourism and will showcase the excellent facilities at the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium for world-class sporting events. Finally, it's an event that will be among the highlights of the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence celebrations."
In the run-up to the match, Tottenham Hotspur will work with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to help promote The Bahamas as a world-leading destination for tourism, while working with the National Sports Authority to help position the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium as a hub for major international sporting events.
The stadium is part of the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, an ongoing redevelopment plan on its 450 acres that will eventually include an athletes' village, new baseball and softball fields and stadiums, and a new indoor multiplex.
Anton Sealy, President of the Bahamas Football Association, said: "The Bahamas Football Association is delighted to welcome Tottenham Hotspur and the Jamaican national team to The Bahamas. We will be working closely with Tottenham Hotspur ahead of this match to help us develop football across the islands. We're confident that the Club will enjoy its experience here and in turn attract other Premier League Clubs who seek a warm and friendly place to train and prepare their squads."
Leroy Archer, Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Bahamas, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for Bahamians to see world-class football on home soil. Tottenham Hotspur is one of the most famous Clubs in world football with a rich tradition, while Jamaica's Reggae Boyz is the standard of Caribbean football with a huge following of colorful fans."
Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, said: "We are delighted to accept an invitation from the Government of The Bahamas to take part in the country's 40th anniversary celebrations. This match will see the Club support the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, as it looks to build its profile across key markets around the world as a leading destination for tourism."
In the build-up to Jamaica's qualifying round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this fixture provides the Jamaican team with ideal preparation ahead of its all-important match against Mexico the following week.
Captain Horace Burrell, President of the Jamaica Football Federation, said: "The Jamaica Football Federation is pleased to be invited to participate in the historic occasion of the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence celebrations. We are delighted to play against one of the world's most famous football teams Tottenham Hotspur to commemorate this special occasion.
"The Jamaican team will be at full strength with all our European and American-based Players. The game will be very exciting, highly competitive and played in the true Caribbean spirit of cooperation and collaboration that has always existed between the two countries. Looking forward to a great game."
For those interested in watching Tottenham Hotspur take on the Jamaican national team, tickets for the match are available now and can be purchased online at www.nsa-bahamas.com.
They can also be purchased directly from the box office at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday or by calling 242-325-0376 or toll-free 888-718-4253.
Notes to Editors:
About The Bahamas:
Starting just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, the 700 Islands Of The Bahamas appeal to a variety of vacation styles, with some of the world's best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as shopping and dining. These attractions, along with the warm, friendly and hospitable Bahamian people, draw nearly five million visitors per year. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, visit www.Bahamas.com and look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Tottenham Hotspur:
Founded in 1882, Tottenham Hotspur is one of the world's leading football clubs and is a founder member of the Barclays Premier League.
For more information on the Club, visit www.tottenhamhotspur.com and/or follow the Club on Facebook.com/TottenhamHotspur, Twitter - @spursofficial and YouTube.com/spursofficial.
About the Barclays Premier League:
The Barclays Premier League is broadcast in 212 countries reaching 724 million households and enjoys a combined reach of in-home and out-of-home viewership of more than 4 billion fans.
SOURCE Bahamas Ministry of Tourism