The massive improvement that Nigeria made when the Akwa-Ibom Stadium was completed should not be underestimated. It was a monumental achievement considering the level of stadiums in Nigeria before the Akwa-Ibom Stadium was completed.
The stadium was constructed by Julius Berger construction company within 2 years (2012-2014). Akwa-Ibom Stadium is a 30,000 seater ultramodern sports complex that was modelled after Bayern Munich's stadium (The Allianz Arena).
The Akwa-Ibom Stadium sits on 48 hectares of land and has unique features like bulletproof VIP sections, collapsible seats, two digital scoreboards, digital playback screens, digital floodlights and 30 emergency exits.
As much as the Akwa-Ibom Stadium is a world-class rated stadium, some improvements need to be made before it can compete with European standard stadiums like Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Camp Nou, Santiago Bernabeu and so on.
Two of these improvements needed would be discussed below;
1. STADIUM CAPACITY: The Akwa-Ibom Stadium can contain 30,000 people during a football game (or any other event). This aspect needs improvement because other European Stadiums have a much higher capacity.
The Emirates Stadium has a capacity of 60,000, the Camp Nou has a 99,000 capacity, the Santiago Bernabeu has a capacity of 81,000, while the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a capacity of 62,000. To compete with these Stadiums, the Akwa-Ibom Stadium capacity must be increased or Nigeria should build another stadium with a higher capacity in the future.
2. GRASS QUALITY: The Akwa-Ibom Stadium pitch was created with natural grass. But European Stadiums have already adopted the use of hybrid grass due to its advantages over natural grass.
Natural grass is very difficult to maintain especially in locations where the weather changes constantly and dramatically. While hybrid grass consists of natural grass at the top reinforced with synthetic fibres.
To compete with other European Stadiums, either the Akwa-Ibom Stadium pitch is upgraded to the hybrid grass system or Nigeria should build another stadium with a hybrid grass system in the future.
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