August 22, 2013

Nakivubo to be revamped

Nakivubo War II Memorial Stadium, the 92 year-old Kampala downtown sports facility is set to be renovated according to a source.

Nakivubo Stadium has become a business hub of sorts
Nakivubo Stadium has become a business hub of sorts

The stadium, Uganda’s oldest will have a facelift put to Park Yard end according to stadium management in a project that is expected to swallow a whopping Shs350m.

A perimeter wall fence will be built with new stands set up just close to the netball courts that are adjust to the Owino/Park Yard Market spot lately notorious for its frequent fires.

Woes

But large chunks of the stadium’s land have been turned into parks for vehicles. One of the most abused areas is the netball court and the area behind the Kirussia stand.

During the day almost a hundred cars are parked here an occurrence stadium spokesperson Fred Kateregga says is being fought.

“We want to make the stadium a self-sustainable facility but as you know financial constraints do not allow us to be self-sustainable.”

“True, the core activity for the stadium is sports but revenues from these activities normally cannot maintain the facilities,” he added.

“We are chasing away encroachers.”

In 2009 the area behind Kirussia was only saved from being converted into a bus terminal by a public outcry.

Nevertheless brisk business including rent from bus companies, shops, parking fees, vendors, general merchandise, restaurant, toilet business and music concerts go on.

But little care is made for the stadium that was once forced to make patch-ups by South African broadcaster SuperSport. In October 2011, Nakivubo was made to adhere to certain conditions for the health of the stadium to be ascertained before it could air live matches from the venue.

Moreover it should be noted World soccer governing body FIFA calls for safety measures controlling the amount of activities around major venues. This is supposed to pave way for easy evacuation in case of emergencies.

Save for that, its management has budged on well trying to pay Shs385 million owed to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in tax arrears cutting it to Shs200m.

Five months back, the sports facility over failure by its management to pay Shs385 million transaction and Pay As You Earn taxes and to reopen the stadium, court bailiffs asked the stadium management to make a down payment of Shs59.9 million.

This threatened to set in motion the possibility of having the stadium being put up for receivership, something that the stadium management had been able to stave off following meetings with the two parties.

Ultimately, the two parties also agreed Nakivubo pays Shs 21 million every month till the debt is cleared.

The stadium was first opened in April 1, 1926 with the first match played there being between Uganda Kobs (a local club dominated by whites and founded in 1921) and the Uganda national team.

It now plays home to top flight clubs SC Villa, Entebbe FC and Bright Stars among others.

The Owino/Park Yard Market stadium spot lately notorious for its frequent fires.
The Owino/Park Yard Market stadium spot lately notorious for its frequent fires.
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