Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex
|SKD, SKD Stadium|
The Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium (frequently abbreviated SKD Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium in Monrovia, Liberia built in 1986. It is used mostly for football matches and has an athletics track, though it has also been used for a reggae concert, political rallies, IDP refuge, and Ebola treatment. The largest stadium in Liberia, its spectator capacity is 35,000.
During Liberia's second civil war, thousands sought refuge in the stadium. On June 24, 2003, following the breakdown of a cease fire, there were a reported 58,000 IDPs in the stadium, more than 5% of Monrovia's estimated 1,000,000 residents.
The stadium has had frequent problems with overcrowding, due on at least one occasion to illegal ticket sales. In 2008, eight people died of suffocation following a football match, and in 2014, spectators were reported to have fainted.
The stadium has been the site of international concerts, national political events, and multiple World Cup qualifying matches. In 1988, the Reggae Sunsplash concert was held in SKD. The 24-hour long event featured Burning Spear, Yellowman, and other well-known roots and dancehall reggae artists flown in from Jamaica. During the campaign for the Liberian general election in 2011 the Congress for Democratic Change held exclusive rallies in the stadium.
In September 2005, a $7.6 million renovation funded by China was announced and Chinese company Hunan Constructing Engineering Group Corporation was named as the contractor. After the two-year renovation was complete, Liberia lacked the expertise to manage the electronic scoreboard. The grass was badly damaged after a 2009 international women's conference.
In October 2013, another agreement was signed between the governments of Liberia and China funding a $18 million renovation of the stadium. The plans for the second renovation included the practice pitch and tennis courts that were not repaired six years earlier.
Matches between Liberian county teams were reported in early 2014.
During the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia, SKD was the site of a Chinese-built Ebola treatment unit. The 100-bed hospital, constructed by the Chinese firm CNQC, was planned for 160 specialized medical personnel from China. It opened in November 2014 with a ceremony attended by President Sirleaf  In May 2015 the ETU was decommissioned after treating 10 confirmed cases and admitting 110 patients. The 20-room facility and its more than 920,000 items, including more than 1,500 kinds of medical instruments and materials worth approximately $7 million, was turned over to the Liberian government. As part of the ceremony, President Sirleaf was presented with a flag of the People's Liberation Army medical team.
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