HARARE City Council has started engaging potential investment partners for the construction of a multi-million-dollar stadium in High-Glen, Budiriro.
The municipality owns just five stadiums in the city of which two of them, Rufaro and Gwanzura, are under renovations in order to meet minimum requirements to be able to host top class matches.
The remainder are all in a run-down state and the council gets little if any revenue from them. And last year the largest local authority in the country, resolved to construct a new 45 000-seater in Budiriro, setting aside about US$1,4 million for the initial phase of the project.
Architectural designs have since been done and the city is currently engaging potential investors to partner it for the project, which is set to be one of the authority’s key revenue earners, if it comes to fruition.
City spokesperson Michael Chideme, told Business Weekly Sport that the municipality is in the process of engaging potential partners to forge strategic alliances for the concept.
“At the moment, we are looking for potential partners for the High-Glen Stadium project,” said Chideme.
“This is a multi-million-dollar project we are talking about and we certainly need investors to chip in for it to come out the way it should be.
“The structural designs were done by the City artisans and are already in place. This is a huge project and once we get partners in place, we will then start actual work on the ground.
“Once work starts, we intend to have it completed inside 36 months.”
Chideme said once completed, the stadium will help earn council significant revenue as well as breathe more life to the nearby High-Glen shopping mall that has become almost a white elephant.
“The stadium is going to be a modern facility with offices which could be rented out for more revenue.
“In a way, the stadium will as well help shoppers and revellers flock at High-Glen shopping mall thereby creating increased economic activities around the area.
“Our partners will get the much-needed mileage as they will be able to market their brands. It’s about strategic partnerships and we would want to make sure this project comes out successfully.”
He said the stadium will be one of the key points to market the brand Harare to the outside world.
“Sport, especially football can be a solid key to market a brand. As the Harare City Council, we have seen that sport has the power to attract visitors from outside the city as well as outside the country. That attracts investment and shoppers to the city. Those visitors will help market the brand Harare when they go back to their respective locations.
“We want to promote sports tourism through this initiative thereby getting the much-needed revenue.
“For the nearby Budiriro, Mufakose, Glen View, Aspindale Park, Lochnivar, Highfield, Kambuzuma and Glen Norah, there is no doubt that the project will massively benefit them both in terms of economic and recreational activities. There are benefits to accrue for downstream industries once the project takes off.”