The Nairobi County Government has rolled out an ambitious plan to rehabilitate City Stadium to requisite international standards among other sporting facilities in the city.
County assembly boss Robert Mbatia said Sh350 million has been set aside for refurbishment with City, the oldest arena in the country, being allocated the lion’s share of Sh200 million for repairs.
Mbatia, while tabling estimates during the county assembly proceedings at City Hall, further said other grounds like Kihumbuini in Kangemi, Ziwani in Kariakor and Woodley in Kibra and selected two schools will benefit from the extra Sh150 million. “It will not be business as usual as City Stadium will be upgraded to international standards and will have a sitting capacity of 35,000.
The expansion exercise will also encompass indoor courts for various sports and building of modern stalls to traders outside the stadium as well as an expansive parking bay,” said Mbatia, adding that the learning institutions which are targeted will have artificial surface with the contractor expected to complete work in all the projects within five to six months.
The county, Mbatia added, was also mulling with the idea of upgrading Dandora Stadium and other pitches in Kaloleni and Makongeni in Eastlands which is the epicentre of football talent in Nairobi.
County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Hassan said the impending development will be a huge relief for Nairobi teams which have been forced to spend unnecessarily to use facilities in far flung areas such as Machakos and Kakamega.
“The inconvenience of using facilities outside Nairobi will be a thing of the past and I want to assure that the city will be fully equipped with the required sports facilities. Fans will no longer go all the way to Machakos, Kisumu or Kakamega to watch matches,” said Hassan.
The plan by the county government, under the stewardship of Governor Mike Sonko, is bound to be sweet music to the ears of football enthusiasts who have been tired of empty promises by past regimes to repair the stadium most of which are in a deplorable state.
During the tenure of former Governor Evans Kidero, a pledge to upgrade Woodley, which has produced reputable players, was never fulfilled neither was that to improve City Stadium.