Akure Stadium begs for capacity expansion

Sunshine Stars’ supporters watching their team’s game against Kano Pillars from an uncompleted building near the stadium.

Sunshine Stars’ supporters watching their team’s game against Kano Pillars from an uncompleted building near the stadium.

Akure Township Stadium has become one of the most visited arenas in the Glo Nigeria Premier League this season. Every match day, football fans troop into the stadium from all over the town and its environs to watch games of the 2014/2015.

The stadium, which is home to Glo League leaders, Sunshine Stars, witnesses such a large number of fans each match day that the stands are now begging for help.

Such was the experience last weekend when Sunshine Stars hosted defending champions, Kano Pillars, in a Week 13 game.

Apart from the stands filled beyond their capacity, eager fans were forced to watch the match from rooftops and some other makeshift stands close to the stadium. Although the development showed the improvement in the attitude of Nigerian football fans to the local league, some observers believe expanding the capacity of the stadium would help to consolidate the gains already made by the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA).

At the end of the Week 13 game, which ended 3-0 in Sunshine Stars’ favour, the club announced 6,749 spectators as the official attendance. However, sources from the stadium management believe the actual number of fans recorded was more than 9,000.

Aside those inside the stadium and many in makeshift stands, there were thousands of others who could not find a way of watching the game.

A concerned fan, Dayo Ojo, told The Guardian that the ODSFA has done well by bringing artistes and other side attractions to entertain fans and supporters of the club. “But they should find a way of making the stadium accessible to everybody that wants to come and watch Sunshine Stars.

“It is a fact that the stadium now holds more than its official capacity during Sunshine Stars’ home matches. As it is, there is a need for expansion of the stadium in order to avoid stampede or casualty in during matches,” he said.

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