Sport

COVID-19 Lockdown, a Blessing in Disguise for Stadium Development in Uganda 

Sports development in Uganda for many years has been greatly hindered by the poor and semi standardized sports facilities mainly football stadiums.

This has been caused by the concentration of stadiums majorly in the central region which has led to the slow or no growth at all of sports facilities in the other parts of the country that are distant from Kampala. With promising upgrades in different areas of the country, lots of sporting activity is expected when sport returns and for the fans, they can sign up with mypromocode to be part of these sporting events and win big

Apart from KCCA’s StarTimes Stadium (Lugogo), Vipers Sports Club St Mary’s Stadium (Kitende), and the Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) which are all centralized in Kampala, there have not been developed facilities reaching international standards from outside the central region.

Not even many semi standardized stadiums can be plotted in the other regions apart from the Kakyeka Stadium (Mbarara), Buhinga Stadium (Fortportal), and the Greenlight Stadium in Arua which are all far from meeting the required standards of sports facilities.

However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is seemingly a blessing in disguise towards the development of Stadiums in Uganda and the long time cry could be history if the work proceeding behind the scenes is successfully accomplished.

Since the lockdown was instituted earlier this year in March and all sporting activities ended prematurely with others postponed, different regions have now embarked on stadium development and the future might be bright.

The West Nile region, a home to Onduparaka FC has already embarked on the stadium development with the construction of Arua Hill Stadium.

The project spearheaded by Joadah Consultants Limited is expected to be a 20,000-capacity seater and anticipated to host football, basketball and netball among other sports disciplines upon completion.

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The Arua Hill Stadium construction project is expected to be completed by June 2021 and is expected to benefit all sports activities including fan games where they can use Draftkings Sportbook promo code during before and after games. This will create alternatives for Onduparaka and Paidha Black Angels that have been depending on the Greenlight Stadium.

The construction process of Buhinga Stadium in Fortportal has already commenced and the project is expected to be completed before next year. The home of Nyamityobora was deemed unfit to host league matches hence the stadium management utilized this lockdown period to up its standards.

Also, the redevelopment process of stadiums in the central started with the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo, a home to Uganda Premier League side KCCA FC whose development process is expected to commence in August 2020 at a total cost of Shs 10 billion over three years.

Artistic impression of the planned expanded KCCA FC home ground at Lugogo.

The club has already secured Shs 2.5 billion to start the construction project of the stadium but the projection of the full work will be over Shs.10bn and the stadium will be a 10,000 seater sports complex with floodlights, new dressing rooms and offices upon completion.

The stadium which was was transformed from a natural surface to astroturf following a FIFA-FUFA partnership with the vast help of Kampala Capital City Authority is the third artificial surfaced playing facility in Uganda after St Mary’s Kitende and the FUFA Technical Center, Njeru.

The Mandela National Stadium and St Mary’s Stadium are other facilities subjected to development and reach international standards.

The urgent concerns of Mandela National Stadium are the playing surface, dressing rooms, media tribunal and the floodlights which case applies to St Mary’s Stadium too.

Due to the limited sources of funds to foster stadium construction, other facilities have just embarked on a regreening spree including the King George Stadium in Tororo, Kira Sports ground, Gadaffi Playground (Jinja), and the Kiryandongo Booma Playground (Kiryadongo district).

Others are Uganda Clays Playground (Kajjansi), Wampewo (Gayaza road), Busia Playground, Nyamityobora Playground (Mbarara), Entebbe Police Playground, Kiwafu, Nakiwogo Banga, Entebbe Works, Tanda Playground among others.

With all the development works going on, it’s safe to say that the current lockdown has not only affected the sports sector but has also been a blessing in disguise towards the development of stadium facilities in the country.

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