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 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 Africa youth championship cup, under 17 and 20 world cup tournament, All African games and do on has massively drawn the attention of most young and old Nigerian 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.
Apart from the fact that we derive maximum entertainment and joy from football, it also brings unity, peace, and harmony between citizens of Nigeria. However, in the quest for more sports infrastructures, highlighted below is the list of best 10 stadiums in Nigeria to be cognizant of the country is growing in sport or dilapidating.
TOP 10 BEST STADIUMS IN NIGERIA
1. Akwa Ibom International Stadium
There is no Argument that Akwa Ibom International Stadium is the finest stadium in Nigeria as a nation has ever had in the long run.
The Akwa Ibom International St. contract was given to Julius Berger Construction Company, who acts as the contractor that constructed the international stadium in the year 2012 under the regime of Governor Godswill Akpabio and was completed and delivered in 2014.
This stadium design was constructed to look like the Allianz Arena in Germany. The international stadium has a 30,000-seater capacity and it is a multi-purpose stadium that is not only used for sport but also for non-sports activities such as cultural and social activities.
The estimated cost of around $250 million was used in the construction of the Akwa Ibom International Stadium.
2. Abuja National Stadium
In the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria is located the second best stadium in Nigeria, Abuja national st. which is Nigeria’s national stadium with a capacity of 60,491 seats. The stadium is used as a home playing ground for the super eagles, flying eagles, golden eagles, and other National Football teams of the country.
With no doubt, it is presently the largest stadium in Nigeria and best 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. It cost the government about $360 million in constructing the Abuja National stadium assessing it to be the most expensive stadium ever in the history of Nigeria.
3. Teslim Balogun Stadium – Lagos
The Nigerian professional footballer, Teslim Balogun.was honored by naming the Lagos state stadium after him. The 25,000 spectator’s capacity stadium was constructed, completed, and delivered during Babatunde Raji Fashola’s regime as the governor of Lagos state. 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. However, right opposite this stadium is another stadium which is the Lagos state national stadium, they should not be mixed up.
4. U. J. Esuene Stadium – Calabar
U.J. Esuene stadium serves as the home playing stadium of Calabar Rovers, previously known as Dolphins F.C.
The Calabar stadium was commissioned first on 2nd, April 1977 with a capacity for just 16,000 spectators, After all, it is still singled out as one of the best football stadia in Nigeria so far.
5. 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 amongst 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. After Akwa Ibom international stadium, Abuja national stadium a few others are the liberation stadium, which is ranked among the best five (5) Nigeria’s stadium.
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 visitor, 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 another international standard stadiums c across the globe.
6. Enyimba International Stadium
Coming sixth on the list of the best stadiums in Nigeria, Aba Aba township st., which was renamed in 2002 as Enyimba International Stadium in honor of the club when they triumph in the 2002 CAF champions league and was inaugurated in year1992, The stadium with a capacity of 25,000 spectators with special VIP viewing portion has once hosted the finals of CAF Champion league.
The pitch is made up of grass turf that is well maintained alongside floodlights and an electronic scoreboard installed in the stadium.
A well-equipped medical arena and sufficient and standby medical facility such as ambulances with qualified attained personnel available on the ground. 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 of 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. Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan
The formerly known Liberty stadium now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, renamed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 was commissioned in 1960.
The 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship was hosted in the stadium. However, the stadium is not the home ground for the state’s Shooting Stars FC (3SC), the club prefers to play their home games in the Adamasingba stadium but occasionally decides to some of their games in the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium with a capacity of not more than 35,000 spectators with a designated portion for VIP viewing. The field is covered with well-maintained grass turf and also has a digital scoreboard at a safe and best place where all spectators can view it. 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.
8. Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu
Coming eight on the list of the best stadiums in Nigeria, 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 which can contain 22,00 spectators with 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.
9. Abacha Stadium, Kano
Abacha international Stadium situated in Kano state was inb1982 commissioned and has hosted the 2009 FIFA U17 World cup tournament. The Stadium is recently the home playground of Kano Pillars FC, with a capacity that can contain 18,000 spectators with a VIP viewing area inclusive. 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.
10. 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, 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.
As we can see that the country is a great nation, having all of these amenities in place. The challenges we are facing are not construction cost, location, or space, the main challenge is not taking into consideration the maintenance cost at the execution of these awesome projects. Ideally, it is known to us all that some equipment and facilities in these stadiums will stop and seize to work not because they don’t want to but due to some effects like weather, improper handling, inadequate servicing (mechanize portion) and the likes tend to change form and experience a total breakdown, at this stage the only thing they are crying for is maintenance that will guarantee their sustenance. As a person, I think if we can work on this as a nation we will achieve a better result, then our stadiums and other amenities can now be compared to others across the globe.