In a recent decision, the government is planning to turn the Lugogo Cricket Oval into a modern Multipurpose Sports Complex. This transformation aims to boost sports development in Uganda and was welcomed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni following a proposal from Summa, a Turkish construction company.
The decision was made after a high-level meeting attended by President Museveni, First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang, Commissioner of Physical Education and Sports, Rev. Duncan Mugumya, and representatives from Summa Construction Company, among others.
The proposed Multipurpose Sports Complex will include a main indoor arena capable of hosting 15,000 spectators, an eight-lane swimming pool, a versatile standard pitch, an athlete hostel accommodating 60 people, a showroom, a shopping center, a top-tier fitness gym, and more.
Dr. Benard Patrick Ogwel, the General Secretary of the National Council of Sports (NCS), explained that the current MTN Arena, used for indoor games, will be renovated and expanded from its current 750 seats to 3,000 seats. Ogwel emphasized the need for these upgrades, citing the deteriorating condition of the Lugogo facility, which was built in 1957.
Cricket will be affected by this transformation as it is a specialized sport. However, plans are in place to relocate Cricket Kyambogo, where it will be properly managed and developed with government support. An MOU with Kyambogo is in the works.
Rev. Can. Duncan Mugumya, the Commissioner of Physical Education and Sports, sees the transition positively, as it will accommodate a wide range of sports disciplines. He explained that Cricket will move to Kyambogo, the Old Arena will be upgraded, and the new Multipurpose Sports Complex will provide additional facilities. Detailed designs will be revealed to the public in due course.
Denis Musaali, the Uganda Cricket Association’s Communications Director, expressed acceptance of the move, ensuring that cricket will continue to have a venue in Kampala.
The completion of this modern sports complex will significantly improve Uganda’s sports infrastructure, addressing the longstanding need for better venues. Currently, Uganda heavily relies on the deteriorating MTN Indoor Arena for international tournaments.
This decision comes after previous attempts by Makerere University to construct an indoor arena, which remains incomplete. The lack of suitable facilities has also caused Uganda to miss out on hosting major events, such as the 2023 Africa Netball Championship, despite successfully winning the bid.