Dar arena renovation works to  complete in May

THE government said the major renovation works at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam will be completed in May this year.

The Acting Director of Sports in the Ministry for Culture, Arts and Sports Ally Mayay made the revelations recently in the city insisting that the upgrade tasks will not cover the pitch alone.

“CAF members who came to assess the venue which will be used by Simba in the approaching CAF Super League have recommended a number of areas at the stadium which need to be modernised.

“Aside from uplifting the pitch, they have also instructed us to replace the plastic chairs available at the technical area of the playing field as well as update the VVIP section.

“Also, they want the media section to be refurbished to fit the modern requirements. And there are many other areas scheduled to be improved because most of the infrastructures we have at the venue are outdated,” Mayay said.

As such, he said during this upgrading period, no Premier League matches will be hosted at the arena hence Simba and Young Africans who use it as their home base should reschedule their matches to either Uhuru Stadium or Azam Complex.

“Only return leg CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup games will be permitted at the arena including the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) duel between Taifa Stars against Uganda next month,” he revealed.

He added that government is fully focused to facilitate the growth of sports in the country and one way to achieve that is ensuring that modern sports facilities are established across the country.

He also disclosed that project to facelift seven stadiums in the country will be accomplished in two phases with the first one involving Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Uhuru Stadium and Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma.

Thereafter, he said it will be a turn of CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya, Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, and Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga.

Mayay then seized the platform to urge people to always take good care of facilities at stadiums saying a lot of cost is incurred when they have been damaged.

However, the last league match to be played at the 60,000-capacity arena before paving way for maintenance exercise was Yanga versus KMC of which the former won 1-0.

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