Stadium of the Year 2023: African novelties on the stadium map

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

Stadium of the Year 2023: African novelties on the stadium map We have already discussed in detail a total of more than a dozen stadiums that are taking part in the competition for Stadium of the Year. Among them were arenas from Europe, South America, far Asia, Oceania or the Middle East. So it's time for Africa, where six new stadiums were built in 2023.


Select the best stadium of the year

Ivory Coast has benefited from the Africa Cup of Nations

Stade de la Paix in Bouaké was built for the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations, and underwent a major renovation in 2019 to host the tournament again in 2023. The venue currently has a capacity of around 40,000 people; nine matches were played there in the last edition of the PNA. In late July 2007, the stadium hosted the so-called fire of peace ceremony, symbolically ending the Ivorian crisis. Hence the current name, which refers to this event.

Stade Laurent Pokou was also commissioned in 2023 to host the tournament and has hosted 8 matches. It is named after Laurent Pokou, an Ivorian soccer legend who scored 14 goals in the PNA (which was a record until 2008).

The third new venue from the country is Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly, located in the southern suburb of Korhogo. It is the first large and modern stadium in the city. The main contractor was the Chinese company China National Building Material (CNBM). The concept for the new stadium was prepared by EGPI of France.

Stade de la Paix in Bouaké © Coulibaly Check Abdoul-Rahim (CC BY-SA 4.0) | Stade de la Paix in Bouaké 

Africa's largest new stadium

Shortly before the inauguration of the stadium, on December 20, 2022, it was announced that it would be named after South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. Work to prepare the site began a very long time ago, back in 2008, and actual construction began in 2009. The facility was to be ready in less than 2.5 years, and the cost of construction was initially estimated at around €100 million. However, problems arose early on in the investment. Eventually, Stade Nelson Mandela facility was completed and is impressive. The original form of the facility may, with its design features, bring to mind some of Portugal's Euro 2004 arenas.

In addition to the aforementioned stadiums in Africa, two more venues were built in the previous year that are in unusual locations by football standards. The first is Estádio França Ndalu, an arena built by Clube Desportivo 1º de Agosto of Luanda, a club from the Angolan capital. Last on the African map of new stadiums is Amaan Stadium from Zanzibar. It was the first of many projects carried out in Africa with Chinese participation, as part of the so-called stadium diplomacy. More than 50 years later, the arena was modernized, making it eligible for the Stadium of the Year competition.

Stade Nelson Mandela © DZ Stadiums | Stade Nelson Mandela