The Malawi National Council of Sports is working towards securing funds for the phase 2 BAT Ground rehabilitation project. This is after the completion of the first phase of the project which included the construction of a block wall perimeter fence, guardhouses, ticket booths, and associated works.
This project was funded by the Sports Council through the 25% levy it gets from the gate collections from all stadia during games, and it was designed and supervised by the Department of Buildings.
Scope of the work on the second phase
According to Sports Council acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka, the second phase targets the orientation of the pitch so that it faces the recommended side to make it a modern stadium suitable for both local and international games.
“This phase also targets working on the turf which we want to maintain as natural for easy maintenance. We plan to have a minimum capacity of 15,000 seats for the stadium but the Minister of Sport Ulemu Msungama suggested that we consider increasing the seats to 20,000,” said the Sports Council acting Executive Secretary.
The stadium will also have changing rooms, ablution facilities for spectators, and other entertainment amenities that mainly include sports shops and takeaway food stalls. Henry Mereka also mentioned the provision of a car park area mainly for VIPs only as they are also mindful of the fact that modern stadiums do not encourage car parks to avoid congestion and/or stampedes.
The being of the BAT Ground
The BAT ground was initially built by the cigarette manufacturing company British American Tobacco (BAT) for the recreation of its staff during the week. The company, later on, allowed the football association to use it at a fee before selling the facility to the Malawi Government when it closed its Malawi factory.