Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex

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Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex
SKD, SKD Stadium
SKD Stadium, Monrovia, Liberia, 2015.jpg
Location Monrovia, Liberia
Capacity 35,000[1]
Opened 1986

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.[1]

Background[edit]

The stadium was commissioned by President William Tolbert, who was removed in a 1980 coup d'état by Samuel Doe. Completed during Doe's reign, he named the facility after himself.[2]

During Liberia's second civil war, thousands sought refuge in the stadium.[3] 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.[3]

The stadium has had frequent problems with overcrowding, due on at least one occasion to illegal ticket sales.[4] In 2008, eight people died of suffocation following a football match, and in 2014, spectators were reported to have fainted.[4]

The stadium has been the site of international concerts, national political events, and multiple World Cup qualifying matches.[4] 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.[5] During the campaign for the Liberian general election in 2011 the Congress for Democratic Change held exclusive rallies in the stadium.[6]

Renovations[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8]

In October 2013, another agreement was signed between the governments of Liberia and China funding a $18 million renovation of the stadium.[9] The plans for the second renovation included the practice pitch and tennis courts that were not repaired six years earlier.[10]

Matches between Liberian county teams were reported in early 2014.[4]

Ebola Treatment[edit]

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.[11] It opened in November 2014 with a ceremony attended by President Sirleaf [12] In May 2015 the ETU was decommissioned after treating 10 confirmed cases and admitting 110 patients.[13] 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.[13] As part of the ceremony, President Sirleaf was presented with a flag of the People's Liberation Army medical team.[13]

In August 2015, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi visited SKD stadium and met with Chinese workers.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Stadiums - Liberia". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Armstrong, Gary (3 February 2012). "Terrorizing defences: Sport in the Liberian civil conflict" (PDF). International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 47 (358). Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Liberia - Second Civil War - 1997-2003". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Liberia:Chaos Mars Grand Bassa and Nimba Clash". All Africa. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Nevin, Timothy (2010). "POLITICS AND POPULAR CULTURE: THE RENAISSANCE IN LIBERIAN MUSIC, 1970-89" (PDF). Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "National Elections in Liberia Fall 2011" (PDF). 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "China undertakes renovation project of Liberia's sports complex". Xinhua. 27 September 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "SKD Sports Complex needs Infrastructural Improvement". Sport News. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Liberia-China Sign U.S.$18 Million Agreement to Revamp SKD". All Africa. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "SKD Gets Facelift: China Provides $US16M For Renovation of Sport Complex". Front Page Africa. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Liberia: SKD ETU to Be Dedicated Today". All Africa. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Liberia: Liberia: Doing Things Differently - China Unveils State-of-the-Art ETU". All Africa. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c "Chinese Decommissions ETU, Turns Over Facility to the Liberian Government;Renovation Begins at Samuel K. Doe Stadium". Front Page Africa. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Chinese FM visits SKD Stadium in Liberia". Xinhua. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 

Coordinates: 6°15′24″N 10°42′8″W / 6.25667°N 10.70222°W / 6.25667; -10.70222