The government of Tanzania has revealed that it will soon advertise the tender for the construction of a mega-sports stadium in Dodoma region. Upon completion, the sports venue will be the biggest in Africa and will have the capacity to accommodate up to 100,000 spectators. The project has been in the pipeline since 2017 after King Mohamed VI of Morocco, during an official visit to Tanzania, pledged to build the stadium following his visit in 2016.
Last year, President Magufuli held talks with a team of experts from Morocco. During the meeting, Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania’s National Roads Agency, Patrick Mfugale, revealed the architectural design of the multi-billion venue will resemble the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro.
In May this year, Minister for Information, Arts, Culture, and Sports, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe when answering a question during parliamentary sessions, said the project was closer to the construction phase after the initial stages had been completed.
Answering a question from Felister Bura (MP) who expressed concerns about how construction work on the sports venue had taken so long to kick-off, Dr. Mwakyembe told parliamentarians that the proposed Dodoma Stadium project had moved closer to the construction stage following the completion of seismic, topographical and feasibility studies which had to be repeated to ensure maximum safety of spectators.
Further, Mwakyembe explained that Dodoma city is prone to earthquakes and therefore the government had a task of conducting seismic, topographical, and feasibility studies, which for accuracy purposes, had to be repeated.
“As of now we have completed all the essential surveys and I have personally submitted the reports to President John Magufuli, detailing information about the location and characteristics of geological structures beneath the Earth’s surface, where the structure will be set up. With that in mind, the state is set to advance into the construction stage,” noted the Minister.
The new stadium will cost between 80 and 100 million US dollars, equivalent to about 200 billion Tanzanian shillings. The Dodoma Stadium will be bigger than the current National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, which was built for 56 billion Tanzanian shillings that were largely financed by the Chinese government, with the Tanzanian government also contributing some costs.
The stadium will be strategically situated in the Nanenane area along the Dodoma-Morogoro highway and will be visible and accessible to people using the proposed Dodoma City’s ring roads that will be passing just near the stadium and those using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line which will as well not be far from the structure.
The largest stadium in Africa is The First National Bank (FNB) Stadium in South Africa which accommodates around 94,736 spectators and considering the proposed size, Dodoma Stadium is anticipated to take over FNB’s crown with the expected number of spectators to be accommodated will be 100,000 in its full capacity.
The FNB Stadium, famously known as Soccer City or just The Calabash, is located in Nasrec, bordering the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa. The Calabash name is a result of the stadium’s design which was inspired by a Calabash and other African artifacts made from the hard shell of a fruit in the gourd family “Lagenaria siceraria” by drying and hallowing it out.
Upon completion of the project of the new stadium, Tanzania will be in a better position to bid hosting major continental events such as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which has for many years been a dream for Tanzanian football fanatics, while the country does not have the infrastructural capacity to bid on the same.