The Botswana National Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Gaborone, Botswana.
It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 22,000 people.
The pitch is surrounded by an athletics track, the stadium is coupled with a rugby venue, which has fallen into disuse, and a tennis facility.
The stadium is made up of a total of 10 stands, 3 of which are covered. The 3 large stands on each end of the stadium make up the north and south ends. The west side of the stadium is made up of 3 covered stands, while the east end is made up of 1 giant uncovered stand. From the 22nd to the 31st of May 2014, the stadium hosted the 2nd African Youth Games, Gaborone 2014 opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field events. A giant screen was erected on the middle north stand in August 2014.
The stadium is home to the Botswana national football team, the Zebras. It is also currently home to Gaborone based Botswana Premier League clubs Township Rollers F.C., Gaborone United S.C. and Notwane F.C.. Mochudi side, Mochudi Centre Chiefs SC also uses the ground as their home base.
Apart from sports, the stadium also hosts other events like Botswana Police Service Day and Botswana Defence Force Day, as well as Botswana Independence Celebrations. Music festivals and church services are also held at this multi-use facility.
Upgrade/Renovation of the National Stadium
Hitecon construction company won the tender to renovate the stadium. The purpose for renovating the National Stadium was for Botswana to accommodate some teams that were competing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The tournament was held in neighbouring South Africa.
In 2008 the national stadium was closed for refurbishment with the hope that it would be used for the 2010 World Cup as a training camp for teams competing in it. This never materialised as the teams were instructed to train inside South Africa, and the stadium renovations were behind schedule.
Since its closure in 2008, the stadium had turned into a white elephant as it couldn’t be used for sporting activities. The Premier League and athletics were among the codes that were most affected by the unavailability of the stadium. The premier league teams which rely mostly on gate takings were hard hit as they used stadia around Gaborone which are much smaller and cannot accommodate teams with large followings, thus limiting their revenue.
In June 2013, the stadium was finally handed over to the BNSC after being closed for about 5 years. It hosted its first activity in August 2013, where Township Rollers F.C. hosted rivals Extension Gunners in the opening match of the 2013/14 Botswana Premier League season. Gunners went on to win 1-0.
The National Stadium is currently open and continues to host various sporting and non-sporting events.
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