Sport

Machakos County plans more venues

Machakos County plans more venues
  • Mutua also said that the Kenyatta Stadium will be subjected to minor renovations before the end of this year.
  • “Currently, what we have on the pitch is Kikuyu grass and we are planning to have Bonita grass which is mostly used on golf courses. We will renovate the lighting system and the track too,” Mutua said.

Instead of bringing down the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos and constructing a new match venue from the ground up, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has embarked on a long-term project that will see the county get nine new stadiums by the end of his tenure.

Speaking to Nation Sport on Monday afternoon, Mutua said his government has set aside Sh800 million for the construction of eight new stadiums in each sub-county to be used for youth training, and one major one that will be used to host international matches.

The current Kenyatta Stadium, he said, would be refurbished and retained as one of the youth stadiums within the county.

“We wanted to construct a new stadium with resources from the national government, but I felt that that would be an avenue for corruption because I would have a minimal supervisory role so I refused to take that route.

“We have now come up with a plan to construct more than one stadium. Machakos is a cosmopolitan county and like Nairobi, it deserves more than one stadium. And the budget involved is less than Sh1 billion, which is the amount some counties are spending to bring up just one stadium.

“Construction of those small stadiums has already begun, and we are looking at 5,000-seater venues. The bigger one will have capacity to hold about 20,000 people. For that ultra-modern stadium, we plan to break ground in the next two months,” he said.

The 10,000-seater Kenyatta Stadium was opened to much jubilation and fanfare in November 2013 following a successful bid by Governor Mutua to have the facility host Cecafa tournament.

Mutua had promised the tournament’s organisers that the facility, which was by then nothing but a large patch of dried up grass, would be up and running within six weeks.

And true to his word, the stadium opened doors to fans on November 2013, featuring an extreme makeover that included well-manicured Kikuyu grass, CCTV cameras, metallic stands and multiple changing rooms constructed to international standards.

Afterwards, the stadium was approved to host top-flight league matches. It later got the nod from Confederation of African Football, allowing it to host Class ‘B’ international matches.

Sadly, however, after the lengthy closure of Nyayo National Stadium, City Stadium and Kasarani Stadium, Kenyatta stadium faced overuse, and is now in a deplorable state.

Although it is still fit enough to host league matches, the playing surface is in need of renovation, as the grass is sparse and patchy due to overuse. This week, Caf banned fans from the stadium during continental matches due to security concerns.

Mutua also said that the Kenyatta Stadium will be subjected to minor renovations before the end of this year.

“Currently, what we have on the pitch is Kikuyu grass and we are planning to have Bonita grass which is mostly used on golf courses. We will renovate the lighting system and the track too,” Mutua said.