What you need to know:
- Now, there are 12 regional state and one city administration stadium, and the Ethiopian national team has been able to play outside the capital Addis in venues in Bahir Dar, Mekelle and Hawasa for the first time.
- Even though this tremendous job in building these magnificent stadiums across the nation is commendable, there are still many things to do to bring about the much-needed overall development of Ethiopian sport.
In Addis Ababa
Many described the last decade as an era of construction, in Ethiopian modern history.
There was the construction of massive hydroelectric dams, real estate, condominiums, railways, bridges, multi-purpose buildings and many more.
This phenomenon brought a huge boost for the sport sector as well, especially in the construction of new stadiums.
Until recently, Ethiopia had nearly a solitary sports stadium, Addis Ababa Stadium, that’s been the central venue since the 1940s in hosting international matches.
However, this story is changing and it is changing steadily.
Now, there are 12 regional state and one city administration stadium, and the Ethiopian national team has been able to play outside the capital Addis in venues in Bahir Dar, Mekelle and Hawasa for the first time.
We look at some of the venues:
Adey Ababa Stadium
The new $250,000,000 (Sh27 billion) national stadium, in the capital is on its final phase of construction.
The 62,000-seater stadium’s structural work is over, but seats, roofing, electricity, sewerage, parking and other finishing works are expected to be completed in two-and-half years.
Bahir Dar Stadium
Home to Ethiopian Premier League outfits Bahir Dar and Kenema FC in Bahir Dar City, it’s currently the only eligible stadium to host international matches in Ethiopia.
Though it has yet to be fully completed, it has the capacity to accommodate 80,000 fans in all stands but designed to host 50,000 seated fans.
Based in Mekelle City, it is home to the 2018/19 Premier League champions Mekelle 70 Enderta FC. It is another stadium yet to be fully constructed but functioning, it even hosts some international matches.
It has a capacity of hosting 50,000 fans in seats when it is completed.
Having hosted several high profile international matches and the 2015 Cecafa tournament, Hawasa Stadium is another newly-built and operational, yet, unfinished stadium.
Located in Southern Ethiopia, the stadium has a capacity of 45,000 spectators.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi Stadium
It is probably, the only fully completed and operational stadium in Ethiopia.
However, it is unable to host any international matches, due to luck of other infrastructure, such as adequate hotels in the city.
The 26,000-seater stadium, is located in Woldia City and was fully financed and built by an Ethiopian born, Saudi Arabian Billionaire, Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi.
It is home to the second division club, Woldia FC.
The newest addition in the list, the 40,000 seat Nekemet stadium in western Ethiopia is yet to host any international matches.
Like the others, this stadium is in its final touches too.
Dire Dawa Stadium
It had been the only stadium, to share the burden of Addis Ababa Stadium, in hosting international matches until recently.
Currently, the Dire Dawa Stadium, located in Easter Ethiopia, is undergoing renovation and upgrading its capacity to accommodate 40,000 fans.
There are also other stadiums both operational and under construction in Addis Ababa, Afar, Benishangul, Gamebela and Harari with the capacity of each hosting 30,000-plus fans.
Even though this tremendous job in building these magnificent stadiums across the nation is commendable, there are still many things to do to bring about the much-needed overall development of Ethiopian sport.
These include the completion of construction work at the stadiums to make them available for operations, and also the training of individuals and creation of a system to professionally manage and maintain the infrastructure.