By OMULO OKOTH
I have been to many stadiums around the world. From Beijingâs iconic Olympic Stadium, The Birdâs Nest, the magnificent Stade De France in Paris, Londonâs historic landmark Wembley and, closer home, Soccer City, and Ellis Park in South Africa.
Apart from competitions that are staged those stadiums, which is their predominant role, there are many interesting things that go on in the side lines.
Stadiums have become favourite joints for researchers, open air concerts, music extravaganza, entertainers, educators, businesspeople, the youth and the elderly all rolled in one.
They also showcase a countryâs cultural heritage, architectural finesse and financial muscle, not to mention sporting prowess.
Here in Kenya, Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, stands out as the best, yet it it is far from what a modern stadium ought to look like.
Nyayo National Stadium, which is the second best on our land, trails Kasarani in capacity and viability.
Outside Nairobi, there is nothing much to write home about. In any case, many stadiums would easily pass as cattle dens or derelict structures.
Which is a shame because Kenya is one of the worldâs most popular sporting destinations, thanks to her world-beating distance athletes.
However, Kasarani is getting better these days, thanks to the Sh1 billion Chinese renovation, which is about to end. And the stadium is not just about playing football, volleyball, swimming and basketball. It is a veritable going concern for the owners â Sports Stadiums Management Board. It hosts wedding parties, church functions, honeymooners, fun seekers on an outing, name it.
Because Governments cannot effectively maintain these stadiums, the corporate world has come in handy to pump in money and enjoy commercial benefits that go with such deals.