Monday, May 20, 2024
SportRenovation project sets Bahir Dar Stadium on path to hosting premier African...

Renovation project sets Bahir Dar Stadium on path to hosting premier African competitions

Major renovations are underway at Bahir Dar Stadium in Ethiopia to improve facilities and meet international standards. One of Ethiopia’s premier sporting venues is deep in the throes of a thorough renovation with the extensive redevelopment effort beginning last year under the supervision of construction professionals aiming to incorporate cutting-edge practices from around the world.

The renovation efforts are being executed in multiple phases, each addressing a different aspect of the stadium, including the playing field, training facilities, surrounding areas, and overall infrastructure.

The French firm Gregori International, licensed by governing bodies FIFA and CAF, has been entrusted with the task of refurbishing the playing field. Involved is a complete strip and replacement of the old turf plus cutting-edge drainage installation. Tests of the soil and sand have been completed as preparations start for re-sodding once requirements are met.

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has highlighted the next critical step in the process, which entails laying down high-quality grass on the field. Stadium authorities are currently in the process of importing grass seeds, which will undergo thorough approval by the Ministry of Agriculture, ensuring compliance with national standards.

Gregori, renowned for its exceptional work in countries such as Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Senegal, and Ivory Coast (the host of the Africa Cup of Nations), has made a firm commitment to delivering a field that meets the agreed-upon specifications.

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Complementing the main field, two practice fields of equivalent quality are being built. Gregori will also handle maintenance of these facilities. Infrastructure upgrades include elevating the number of gates from two to five for improved access and crowd flow. New parking areas are under development for VIPs, teams, media and fans. Digital ticketing systems aim to streamline entry procedures.

Inside the stadium, significant progress has been made. Two elevators catering primarily to media personnel, VIPs, and VVIP guests await installation. The EFF has confirmed that the construction of vital areas, which have received acclaim from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), is well underway.

The VIP and VVIP lounges, media tribune, control room, press conference room, and media center are nearing completion, with only the final touches of interior decoration remaining. Furthermore, the stadium will boast four team dressing rooms and a separate dressing room for referees, all equipped with air conditioning.

Entering the next phase, two giant screens, floodlights and LED displays will be installed. Efforts are also underway to produce spectator seating using recently imported raw materials.

Once the project reaches completion, Bahir Dar Stadium is expected to meet CAF Category 4 standards, positioning it as a premier venue for prestigious African club competitions, national team matches, and events like the African Cup.

The Federation oversees construction in coordination with owners, government and contractors. A comprehensive evaluation of the ongoing stadium construction, renovation, and maintenance projects will be announced in due course, further underscoring Ethiopia’s commitment to enhancing its sports infrastructure.

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