The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh has revealed that the new Onikan Stadium under construction will be used to drive tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sports in line with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision.
The arena formerly known as King George V Stadium was home to Stationery Stores, ACB, NEPA FC, First Bank, IBWA, National Bank FC and Julius Berger when it was the Mecca of Lagos football.
The new edifice, which will now accommodate 5,100 fans on match days, will have the capacity to house between 8,000 and 9,000 during concert and entertainment.
Speaking during a facility tour of the stadium at the inspection tour yesterday, Tandoh said Lagosians should expect more from the use of the stadium after completion.
“In terms of what Lagosians should expect from this facility, a lot of people referred to it as the Onikan Stadium. From the plan, I will rather look at the new Onikan Stadium as a multi-purpose entertainment centre.”
“The place will not be just for sports in line with our governor’s position, merging tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sports together. This is what we will have here as the facility for football will accommodate 5,100 spectators,” he said.
Tandoh added, “All the acoustics will be built in as entertainment centre. We have seen the plan for medical, security arrangements, dressing rooms, doping room, referees room and so on. The consultants and the contractors have been guided by FIFA’s specifications in terms of the pitch, and dimensions etc.’’
“I can tell you that this centre will be quite exciting as it will be transformed into a tourism and entertainment area. Honestly, by the time this project is completed this area will not be the same again. The contractors have assured us that they will complete it by January 2019,” he stated.
Also speaking at the tour, the Managing Director of Slavabogu Nigeria Limited, Mr. Zekeriya Ersin, the contractor handling the project, said, “We understand the vision of the governor and we cannot bring something ordinary to him because he wants the best for Lagos. Every facility, including standard seats, changing rooms, emergency exits, light etc, has been put in place. That is why we decided to work with a FIFA accredited architect to meet with their expectations.”