SPORTS revenue is fast dwindling in Uganda. So, Mandela National Stadium’s management is now looking elsewhere to generate funds
By James Bakama
SPORTS revenue is fast dwindling in Uganda. So, Mandela National Stadium’s management is now looking elsewhere to generate funds to maintain the vast recreation facility.
Weddings, workshops and religious gatherings are some of the activities from which funds have been generated to maintain the stadium.
A restaurant and bar at Namboole’s Southern Gate is the latest fundraising effort at the sports facility.
It will occupy part of the ticketing room at that gate and the adjacent garden. Namboole Managing Director Jamil Sewanyana explained that a private firm Tendo Grill has been outsourced to run a fast food point and refreshment centre in the gardens.
The business will use part of the ticketing building as a sitting point, a pantry and washroom.
“But the ticketing area of the building will be maintained for that purpose,” stressed Sewanyana adding that they want to make use of redundant space.
Last month, Namboole advertised requesting for expression of interest for the development and management of its VIP sports bar, coffee shop, gardens, sports hotel, health club, tennis court, sports shop and public pay toilets.
“We strive to ensure that we keep sports as our core activity. But we also have to create new streams of revenue if we are to survive,” noted Sewanyana.
Is Namboole following Nakivubo?
Some sports enthusiasts are however pessimistic about some of the projects. They cite earlier developments on the facility that have ended up being detrimental to sports.
“You remember the destruction when the facility was turned into a police barracks,” Phillip Oyuru, a staunch sports fan and resident of Bweyogerere complained.
Earlier, there were encroachers on the stadium’s land with a plan of setting up a washing bay.
Oyulu prays that Namboole is not headed in the same direction like Nakivubo. Nakivubo is not only sandwitched by car parks and markets, but its walls also have numerous lockups, commercial toilets and restaurants.
These developments have resulted in a security risk for the country’s oldest stadium. But Sewanyana has assured the public that the interests of sports will always stand out at Namboole.
Is Namboole really safe?