Reopening Nyayo is the best news for Leopards

President Uhuru Kenyatta sounds the gun to start a race of the Kip Keino Classic dry run during the officially reopening of the refurbished Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on September 26, 2020.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • For many years, Ingwe has been using Nyayo National Stadium for their home matches, however, the facility is in high demand for other functions.  The club is forced to look for alternative grounds.
  • Bukhungu Stadium and Mumias Complex in Kakamega County are usually filled to capacity whenever AFC Leopards hold their matches at the venues, however, the club incurs higher expenses.

We celebrate the re-opening of the refurbished Nyayo National Stadium - our traditional home ground - since it was built and opened in 1983.

AFC Leopards and many other community clubs have suffered a great deal for survival since the 30,000-seater facility was closed in 2016 for renovation.

It was closed for upgrade ahead of the failed African Nations Championship (Chan) football tournament.

Morocco stepped  in to host the event in 2018.

President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that work be stepped up in other stadiums. He directed that the remaining stadiums be completed by December.

I was among the Ingwe fans who witnessed the re-opening  of Nyayo Stadium on Saturday. The swanky new facility is fit to host AFC Leopards matches.

The club has suffered a lot through the constant shifting of matches outside the city.

Returning Leopards matches to Nyayo will greatly improve the club’s gate collections. Leopards played most of their matches at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos and the gate collection was paltry because of poor attendence by fans.

High expenses

For many years, Ingwe has been using Nyayo National Stadium for their home matches, however, the facility is in high demand for other functions.  The club is forced to look for alternative grounds.

Bukhungu Stadium and Mumias Complex in Kakamega County are usually filled to capacity whenever AFC Leopards hold their matches at the venues, however, the club incurs higher expenses.

Last season, Ingwe fans were unsure of where the team’s match venue would be because securing one was a big problem.

Records show that hosting a low-profile match costs at least Sh150,000 while big games involving Gor Mahia and Leopards require Sh500,000.

A full season’s costs of hosting matches runs into millions taking into account home and way games as well as continental assignments.

As we appeal to Sports Kenya to ensure that Nyayo Stadium is well maintained, I urge AFC Leopards fans, and indeed other clubs, to be responsible and desist from hooliganism.  No sponsor wants to be associated with a troublesome club.

jashihundu@ke.nationmedia.com