The regional government expects to upgrade the iconic facility to a 20,000-capacity facility eventually
Bungoma County government has confirmed works at Masinde Muliro Stadium are set to be completed in mid-2021.
The renovation of the iconic stadium in the Western region of the country, built in the 1950s, will see the facility expanded so it can accommodate 5000 spectators, but the second phase of construction will see the number increased to 20,000.
The contractor had started the upgrading works by casting the sitting terraces and laying formwork for the second-floor suspended slab which will host offices.
“Sitting on 20 acres, the upgrade of the facility is split into two phases. The first phase of the upgrade will see the stadium built to accommodate 5,000 people,” the Bungoma County statement regarding the works and obtained by Goal read.
“Other works in the first phase include pitch construction and landscaping of green terraces for the rest of the stadium.
“This phase will also include the construction of the main terrace, balcony and offices. This first phase is earmarked for completion mid next year.”
The Masinde Muliro Stadium has been out of use for some time now with Sudi Stadium, home to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Nzoia Sugar, the only high-level facility in the region.
“The second phase will see the stadium expanded to a 20,000-seater capacity facility – the biggest anywhere in the Western region,” added the statement.
“The facility, then called Kanduyi Stadium, hosted sporting activities in Bungoma and from neighbouring regions. At its prime, it hosted tops leagues in the country. The infrastructure then comprised 500-seater pavilion and the fencing.”
The completion of the facility was one of the salient features of Governor Wycliffe Wangamati’s manifesto before he was elected during the 2017 general elections.
It is hoped the Masinde Muliro Stadium will help nurture and grow football in an area known for producing many players.
“The move attests to Governor [Wycliffe] Wangamati’s commitment to growing sports and talent in the county. Specifically, the stadium lies at the heart and desire of Governor Wangamati to identify, nurture, groom, grow and promote talent in different sports fields in the county,” added the statement.
“The stadium has produced some of Kenya’s sporting greats like [Ben] Jipcho, the Silver Medalist in 3,000 metres in the Summer Olympics of 1972, George Situma and Tom Wanjala who were winners of Gossage Cup 1959 [now known as The Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup], and Mary Nakhumicha, a Paralympian, in Javelin.
“Besides playing host to key league matches, the facility will offer a platform to identify, groom and nurture talent for the youth and all sportspersons to grow and showcase their talents.
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“The facility will also open room for investment in the sporting industry and guarantee the County revenue.”
Apart from Nzoia Sugar, Bungoma Supers Stars, plying trade in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Division One, is another famous team in the region.