- To have CCTV system, 56 corporate lounges
- No provision for electronic ticketing
Construction project for the 40,050-seater Chinese-funded stadium being built in the capital city, Lilongwe is nearing completion with almost 80 percent of the construction work complete but despite concerns from sports experts on the ticketing system used at other stadiums during local and international football matches, there is no provision for electronic ticketing system at the new facility.
The stadium, which is earmarked for completion in November, will be called Bingu National Stadium in honour of the fallen leader Bngu wa Mutharika who initiated the construction of the stadium.
A recent visit by Nyasa Times at the construction side revealed the stadium is now taking shape with some of the stadium facilities already completed.
Ministry of Lands and Housing Chief Architect Knight Munthali told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview at the construction site that 80 percent of the main stadium project was complete with 75 percent of construction works for the upper stadium finished.
“There is quite good progress and the project is set to finish according to schedule. Currently, they (contractors) are forming the ground and very soon we will be getting special grass, which is drought-resistant and non-slippery from South Africa,” said Munthali.
He said only the main playing field will be covered by the drought-resistant, non-slippery grass from South Africa while the mini/upper stadium will wear locally sourced drought-resistant grass.
“There will be an Olympic standard synthetic running track around the pitch,” said the government Chief Architect.
According to spot checks by Nyasa Times, most of the facilities situated in the western side of the stadium are in completion stage.These include the VVIP, VIP, covered and open stands, press briefing/banquet halls, press (commentary) gallery, dressing rooms, family/corporate lounges, toilets and the rooftop.
Despite the presence of state-of-the-art facilities at the stadium, there will be no provision of an electronic ticketing system at the Bingu National Stadium.
Chief Sports Officer in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Joseph Kayamba confirmed there will be no gadgets for electronic ticketing.
“That was not provided for in the contract between Malawi government and the Chinese contractor. It will be up to the Ministry of Sports to identify a company that can do the installation of electronic ticketing gadgets but that has not been discussed as at now,” said Kayamba.
Kayamba, however, disclosed that the new stadium will have a Closed Circuit TV system (CCTV) which will, amongst others be used to track-down hoodlums during soccer matches or other sporting/social events.
The stadium will also have a power generator to be used during electricity blackouts and modern fire fighting equipment, which will automatically function in cases of fire accidents.
There will also be a gym but the Sports Ministry will shoulder the responsibility of buying equipment or the gym.
The Ministry, said Kayamba, will also take responsibility to buy furniture including sofa sets to be fitted in the 56 family/corporate lounges, where families or sponsored groups will have the luxury of watching live matches or other events in private environments.
The 29-month national stadium project started on July 1, 2013 and is set to be completed on November 30, 2015.
The $70 million (K26.6 billion) stadium is being built with funding from the Chinese government.
Once completed, 85 percent of the stadium will have covered stands with in-built floodlights.
The stadium was previously moved to Blantyre by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the leadership of late Mutharika but later Joyce Banda who took over the leadership following Mutharika’s sudden death relocated it back to Lilongwe.
She laid a foundation stone marking the beginning of the construction of the stadium on 11th July, 2012.
Under the terms of the agreement, China will provide a concessional loan for the stadium to be repaid in 20 years.
Malawi’s two existing stadiums have both been condemned as unfit for purpose by the Confederation of Africa Football and Fifa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :