Minister Aurore Mimosa reveals plans to outsource management of Amahoro Stadium

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 17 May 2024 at 12:06

The government is considering outsourcing the management of Amahoro Stadium as part of elaborate plans to maximize the value of the billions invested in the renovation of the state-of-the-art facility.

The 45,000-seat stadium is being renovated for $160 million. The renovation work began in August 2022 and is expected to be completed before August this year.

Speaking on Sanny Ntayombya’s podcast, Long Form, Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa said outsourcing management would ensure the facility is utilized to its full potential year-round.

“We are thinking about bringing in a company or individual to manage the facility and maximize its use. This will help us achieve a return on investment, not just for the sports facilities but also for things such as the 22 skyboxes and ensure that when there are no competitions, there are other revenue-generating services around the stadium. For example, you could have restaurants, utilize the skyboxes, and leverage the large conference room for events beyond sporting activities,” the minister stated.

She mentioned that the public-private business arrangement has been largely successful in managing BK Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena in Kigali used mostly for basketball, volleyball matches, and concerts.

“It’s a good model that has worked. Everyone plays their role, which means as a government you invest in infrastructure and work on sports development. You want to bring in someone who has the expertise in managing and marketing the facility. It’s a win-win situation,” she said.

According to the minister, the government is already in talks with parties interested in managing Amahoro Stadium, but no deal has been reached yet.

The minister emphasized that the huge investment in the multi-purpose stadium was aimed at ensuring the facility meets standards set by global bodies such as FIFA and the World Athletics Federation, increasing Rwanda’s chances of hosting major competitions.

“It’s been a huge investment that the government has made, but again, the government also thinks about a return on investment for that facility. They are also focusing on different areas, using the facility for our athletes who are competing outside the country. Most of the time, you want to have infrastructure that meets the standards. That’s one,” Mimosa explained, adding that the renovations also enhanced Petit Stade for basketball and the Paralympics gymnasium.

“Number two, we also ask, how can we make sure that we host those kinds of competitions in Rwanda instead of our team going outside? At the end of the day, when you look at the expenses and the cost of our national team competing outside the country, it’s almost the same as when you are hosting. The money you spend on preparing the team, and the cost of hotels, flights, and all those expenses, when totalled, is most likely almost the same as hosting a big competition. You also consider how much you spend because, at the end of the day, if you don’t host, somebody else will.”

The minister also spoke of plans to build or give a facelift to at least six more stadiums across various parts of the country including Musanze, Gicumbi, Rubavu and Nyagatare
to allow Rwanda to bid for major tournaments such as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

“As the Government of Rwanda, we want to position ourselves as a sports hub. For you to position yourself as a sports hub, you have to invest in infrastructure, not only for stadiums but also in other disciplines,” she added.