Abuja National Stadium

Capacity60 491
Country Nigeria
CityAbuja
Clubs-
Inauguration 08/04/2003 (Shooting Stars - Sunshine Stars, 1-0)
Construction 2000-2003
Cost NGN 54 billion
Design SBP (Schlaich Bergermann und Partner)
Contractor Julius Berger Nigeria
Address Independence Avenue, Abuja, Nigeria

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Description: Abuja Stadium

New national stadium, commissioned in 2000 by the Nigerian government, was built on 29 hectares in the west of Abuja. Planned as the westernmost landmark of two central avenues of the capital, it stands on the opposite side to the national assembly building (easternmost). The building is connected by a set of pedestrian bridges to an even more spacious multi-use sports complex south, also providing it with vast parking sites.

When constructed, the stadium was among the largest, most modern and most expensive stadia in Africa. In fact, with 54 billion naira (some $360 million in 2003), the stadium was back then among the most expensive worldwide, earning it quite some criticism.

For the price Nigeria received indeed a very modern stadium able to hold just over 60,000 spectators on double-tiered stands. The multi-discipline stadium is topped by a lightweight PTFE membrane roof at the height of 40 meters. The cable-supported structure offers 33,000 m2 of shade-providing canopy and was, again, one of the best of its kind when built.

Though it was delivered primarily to host the 2003 African Games, the building was opened some time earlier by two Nigerian football clubs, Shooting Stars and Sunshine Stars. None of them have settled there as Nigerian football’s domestic needs are nowhere near that size. However the national team played numerous games here, even if rotating between other stadia nationwide.

While it also hosted many cultural and religious events, the stadium has become notorious for long periods of disuse and shocking lack of maintenance.

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