Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise (Stade d’Angondjé)
|Inauguration||10/11/2011 (Gabon - Brazil, 0-2)|
|Construction||04/2010 - 02/2012|
|Record attendance||40,000 (Zambia - Ivory Coast, 12/02/2012)|
|Cost||XAF 30 billion|
Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise – stadium description
As the name suggests, this one honours the friendship between China and Gabon (though it’s commonly known as Stade d'Angondjé from the district it stands in). Worth some XAF 30 billion (or $60 million), it was designed and built by Shanghai Construction as a gift from China to Gabon, with massive arch over main stand symbolizing a bridge between the distanced countries with its 320-meter span, largest in Africa.
No wonder why seating bowl and roof resemble similar structures in China, then. And no wonder why it was built in 2010-2011 as Gabon was preparing for their first African Cup of Nations. Initially games were to be played in older and larger stadium in Libreville, but the Chinese contractors finished ahead of schedule to enable this venue become host (it was operational before works ended).
Finishing in just 22 months is the more impressive, that construction suffered from several delays, like the finding of gold (or so it seemed) at the construction site, problems with resident evictions or lack of construction materials.
First game was a friendly against Brazil on Nov 10 2011, but official opening took place on Nov 28, this time with a friendly between youth teams of Gabon and China, with president in attendance. Also, 9 games of the African Cup of Nations were played here, including the final.
New stadium and designs: Gabon won’t be fully ready
The most important host stadium lost its rights due to construction delays. Two others are still under construction with less than 3 months left to 2017 African Cup of Nations.
Gabon: One more “Chinese” AFCON coming up
It may be an African tournament, but it’s almost entirely held in Chinese stadiums. Over the past weekend Gabon signed deals for two more venues from China.