Nigeria is a sports-loving country. The best stadiums in Nigeria are a reflection of the love that Nigerians have for sports; even within the limited resources of the country, there are several high-quality stadiums that can rival similar stadiums in any corner of the world. Typically, the larger ones are more recently built, while the older ones are smaller, but it is at those older stadiums that the most history has been made, and that is where the most passion for sports can be found.
Building top-quality stadiums in Nigeria seems to be a highlight of every government; they continuously try to outdo one another for the size and structure of the stadiums they build. The result is that the country now has some very good stadiums; arguably some of the best on the continent. These stadiums are not just places for sports; they are places of great cultural and political significance in Nigeria.
Top 10 Best Stadiums In Nigeria
1. Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Stadium is the best stadium in Nigeria right now because it is the most beautiful stadium in the country. This stadium was modeled after the iconic Allianz Arena in Germany, and was opened in 2014 to host the “All African Games.” It was built by Julius Berger Construction Company, and cost the Akwa Ibom government about $210 million.
The stadium has quickly become Iconic not only in Akwa Ibom but in the whole country. Now, it is the home of Nigeria National teams; and a stronghold for the Super Eagles. This is one stadium where opponents fear to play because the Super Eagles have a good winning record at this stadium. This 30, 000 sitting capacity stadium is usually packed full of happy and expectant fans, and it has a Presidential suite and viewing area.
The stadium has well-maintained grass turf, two electronic scoreboards, and floodlights. The stadium also has a 5000 capacity public park and 700 VIP car park. It has a medical facility and stand-by ambulances.
2. Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja
The Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja was actually opened as the Abuja National Stadium in 2003 to host the All African Games. However, it was renamed Moshood Abiola Stadium by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, in honour of the late “Pillar Of Sports” Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. If size was all that mattered, this would be the best in the country. It has a 60,491 sitting capacity, and also a Presidential Suite and viewing area.
With no doubt, it is presently the largest stadium in Nigeria and ace when considering the size. This stadium is used for the world’s greatest sporting events and tournaments, of which in 2003, hosted the 8th All Africa games.
The stadium cost the Federal Government a whopping sum of $360 million, and the stadium has all the facilities. Assessing it to be the most expensive stadium ever in the history of Nigeria. The stadium has a well-maintained grass turf, two electronic scoreboards, as well as floodlights. The stadium has a medical center, as well as standby ambulances.
This has become the de-facto number one stadium in Nigeria; where the national teams usually host their matches. It is also used for all kinds of political rallies, and also for all kinds of sporting activities.
3. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt
The Yakubu Gowon Stadium is one of the most iconic stadiums in Nigeria. It was one of the most popular stadiums in the country; as the home of the Dolphins Football Club of Port Harcourt. This stadium used to be called Liberation Stadium, and then Adoke Amasiamaka Stadium. This stadium has hosted CAF Champions League games, FIFA U17 world tournament, and several other sporting events.
The stadium has a sitting capacity of 35, 000 people, as well as a VIP viewing area. The turf is real grass, and the stadium also has electronic scoreboards and floodlights. As a multi-purpose stadium, there is a track around the field, because this stadium is also used to host other kinds of sporting events.
This is one of the most well-known stadiums in the country, and it has been well maintained over the years.
4. Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu
The Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu is one of the most historic stadiums in Nigeria. This stadium was opened in 1959 and was previously owned by Nigeria Railway Corporation, but it was in the 1970s and 80s that the stadium reached its height of fame with Enugu Rangers. This stadium has hosted Nigeria Premier League games for more than 50 years, as well as CAF Champions League games, CAF Confederation Cup games, and FIFA U20 world championship 1999.
The stadium has a 22, 000 sitting capacity, a VIP viewing area, and has an Artificial Turf, a video matrix scoreboard, and floodlights. The Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium is one of the old school stadiums in Nigeria.
5. Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan
The Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, in Ibadan, was actually opened in 1960, making it one of the oldest stadiums in the country. It was formerly called Liberty Stadium but was renamed in 2010 by President Good luck Jonathan. This stadium used to be the home ground of the iconic Shooting Stars FC (3SC), and even today, the team still plays their games at this stadium.
This stadium is one of the best in Nigeria; it can host any capacity for the event, both local and international. This stadium hosted the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999. This stadium has a capacity of 35, 000 people, and also has a VIP viewing area. The stadium has a well-maintained grass turf, and also a digital scoreboard, a media centre, and all the things you would expect from a modern stadium.
Present in the medical clinic is two standby ambulances with quality facilities and equipment. The capacity of its public park is 7000with six (6) exit doors. Police and other security agencies are always on guard, more so, considering the media center facilities and equipment, they are standard and FIFA graded since the stadium has hosted the crucial world-class tournament.
6. Enyimba International Stadium Aba
The Enyimba International Stadium in Aba is one of the most recognized stadiums in Nigeria because this is where the Enyimba Football Club of Aba won the CAF Champions League twice in a row.
This stadium was actually opened in 1992, and it was called the Aba township stadium but was renamed in 2002 as an honor to the club when they won CAF Champions League in 2003. The stadium is the one most football fans outside Nigeria will easily recognize; clubs come from all over the continent to play the CAF Champions League games.
The stadium has a capacity to seat 25, 000 people, aside from the VIP viewing area. The stadium is a modern one; it has a well-maintained grass turf, an electronic scoreboard, and floodlights. The stadium also has a medical facility, as well as standby ambulances.
Crowd control is not a problem with the stadium having six main(wide) exits with a well-organized car park consisting of 1500 parking spaces. Security personnel are always available from time to time, tentatively at alert, and are as usual on guard with metal detecting devices. Also, the media center is well equipped with the latest media facilities and equipment, whereby all events happening in the stadium are been captured and recorded for future use.
7. UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar
UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar was opened in 1977. It is initially a 25, 000 capacity stadium, but was reduced to 18, 000 capacity in 1999 to meet FIFA standards. This is one of the stadiums in Nigeria that has hosted more FIFA-graded games than any stadium in Nigeria. The stadium was formerly used by Dolphins Football Clubs and is now home to Calabar Rovers FC.
This stadium was also used by the Nigerian National Football Team, and now regularly hosts Nigerian Premier League games. This stadium has been upgraded; it has a well-maintained grass turf, an ultra-modern video matrix scoreboard, and impressive floodlights.
8. Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos
The Teslim Balogun Stadium got opened in 2007 and has since taken over as the major stadium in Lagos State, Nigeria. The stadium is named after the famous professional footballer from Lagos “Thunder Balogun.” The stadium is mainly used by First Bank FC and has hosted the FIFA U17 World tournament.
The stadium is not a multi-purpose type, it is constructed and used mainly only for a single sports activity which is a football match only. The cost of construction of the stadium hen was said to be about N1.3 billion. It is a 24, 325 capacity stadium and can be used for FIFA grade matches. It has an Artificial turf, and also a digital scoreboard, as well as medical facilities, and everything else you want in a modern stadium.
9. Lokoja Confluence Stadium
The Lokoja Confluence Stadium in Kogi is a multipurpose stadium in Kogi state, which is not too far from Abuja. It can be used for FIFA Standard games and is usually considered as an alternative to the Abuja National stadium. This stadium has a capacity to seat 22, 000, and has semi-covered stands even for viewers at the popular side.
The turf is grass, and the stadium also has a digital scoreboard, as well as floodlights. It has a big medical facility, as well as a special resuscitation center.
10. Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano:
The Sani Abacha Stadium was formerly known as the Kano Stadium and was opened in 1982. This is one of the iconic stadiums in Nigeria; for a time the Super Eagles used to play their matches here. The stadium has also hosted the FIFA U17 World tournament, and regularly hosts the Nigeria Premier League, CAF Champions League, and CAF Confederations Cup games. This is the home ground of Kano Pillars FC.
The stadium has a capacity of 18, 000 people, a grass turf, and a digital scoreboard. It also has a medical facility; as well as standby ambulances.
The pitch is covered with a well-maintained grass turf with a well-situated scoreboard on the pitch. Two ambulances are available in hand with a nearby medical center and four major exits for spectators and steel fencing coming with police on guard during and after the match guarantees maximum security. It also has an OBS media center too where various media operations are carried out.
11. Liberation Stadium – Port Harcourt
Liberation Stadium located at Elekhia part of Port Harcourt is designed to be a multi-purpose football stadium and has been rated among Nigeria’s best stadiums. The liberation stadium is used as a home playing ground for the Dolphin football club with the stadium having about 30,000 spectators capacity.
Apparently, the Akwa Ibom international stadium is less expensive compared to the Abuja stadium is more expensive than the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, The Akwa-Ibom stadium consists of a turf pitch was football is been played, a presidential for players and visitors, and a wide viewing area. The well-maintained turf is made up of artificial grass.
There is also the presence of Close Circuit Security Cameras (CCTV) installed at the stadium to monitor movement around the stadium is vividly monitored too to avoid unsecured occurrences with the installation of closed-circuit security cameras (CCTV) all over the stadium, making the stadium comparable to other international standard stadiums c across the globe.
12. Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu
The Nnamdi Azikiwe St., inaugurated in 1959, upgraded and refurbished in 1986, and was once in time owned by Nigeria Railway Corporation, but upgraded in 1986.
The 1999 FIFA U20 world championship was hosted in the stadium, it is now the home playground for the Rangers are international FC of Enugu, with a capacity that can contain 22,00 spectators with a VIP viewing arena inclusive.
The field is covered with artificial turf with well-installed floodlights and a matrix scoreboard at the appropriate position in the stadia. Coming to the aspect of medical facility and crowd control, the former is a challenge to this Stadium while the latter is not, having eight (8) wide exits where spectators could find their route in the just 30inutes time frame. The whole stadium is secured with CCTV cameras and private security with a nice outfit always on guard and deeply vigilant. It possesses an OBS department well equipped with outstanding facilities.
13. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium – Benin City
Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is located in Benin city and has a capacity that can permit 30,000 spectators. The field is made up of artificial grass turf and has a lot of amenities such as the scoreboard, the medical and security team and facilities, and the exits for the control of the crowd amongst others. The scoreboard is installed in the right place on the pitch, and had one functioning ambulance with a concentrated security guard always at their duty post to avoid unbearable news. The Stadium had seven gigantic exits and a spacious car park area. It’s a media center that also possesses some good facilities and equipment too. The roof of the stadium is half covered.
The love for football is second to none in Nigeria, currently, it is so glaring that Football has been the best sport so far for the average Nigerian and had always fascinated the entire world as well. So, for the top 10 best stadiums in Nigeria, several world-class tournaments and competitions like the Africa youth championship cup, under 17 and 20 world cup tournament, All African games, and do on have massively drawn the attention of most young and old Nigerians to football or soccer sport with the upcoming local leagues within the country, Nigeria is making great moves to attaining that remarkable spot in the world of sport like other developed countries across Europe and America continents.
The best stadiums in Nigeria are iconic sporting grounds where sports lovers come to watch sporting excellence. While the stadiums are great places for hosting sports events such as football matches, one must understand the passion of the Nigerian fans that turn these stadiums into iconic fortresses where victory is expected and demanded. Apart from the fact that we derive maximum entertainment and joy from football, it also brings unity, peace, and harmony to the citizens of Nigeria. However, in the quest for more sports infrastructures, highlighted above is the list of the best 10 stadiums in Nigeria to be cognizant of the country is growing in sports or dilapidating.