Stade de Port-Gentil

Capacity20 200
Country Gabon
Inauguration 09/01/2017
Construction 18/07/2015 - 01/2017
Cost XAF 42.7 billion
Design China State Construction Engineering
Contractor China State Construction Engineering


Stade de Port-Gentil – stadium description

Just like the city of Port-Gentil itself, the latest stadium in its southern outskirts is Gabon's westernmost professional stadium. It was built as part of a much larger precinct, with training athletics stadium, tennis courts and open-air fields for other disciplines. Interestingly, its Gabon's largest football-specific stadium, or rectangular, as some call it.

It became famous at the very moment of groundbreaking, because not only the president of Gabon came to commemorate the ceremony. He was joined by Leo Messi, also laying a brick onto the ground floor wall of the stadium. By construction end, it was able to host over 20,000 people, though a small number in the front rows are not actually protected by the roof above.

Structurally it's a simple building, which allowed the contractors to erect it in just over 1.5 years. Handover and inauguration proved very hasty, though, because opening took place just 10 days before the Cup of Nations, for which the stadium was built. And even then it was estimated to be 99% ready rather than 100% and during the tournament fans were entering the stadium through unpaved routes.

That said, this stadium represents a rare level for any African football venue. It boasts 22 private boxes in the west stand. It also has a hotel above the north stand with 26 rooms overlooking the field. Designed and built by renowned Chinese corporation CSCEC, it's part of long-term partnership between Gabon and China. Or 'stadium diplomacy', as the Chinese practice is known.

Its modest concrete carcass is covered with interesting mixture of colours. Primary roof structure is made with green steel, while golden sheets are put on top of the roof. Similarily, the facade is covered with interesting pattern of horizontal bars in gold. The two colours are both natural and associated with Gabon's national colours, which are literally exposed in the seating layout.



Related news