Inside Benjamin Mkapa Stadium: Tanzania National Stadium

Benjamin Mkapa Stadium | Tanzania National Stadium

Welcome to the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, the national stadium of Tanzania and a hub for football enthusiasts! This iconic structure located in Dar es Salaam has been home to some of the most exciting matches, making it an essential spot for all sports lovers. With its state-of-the-art facilities and impressive seating capacity, this stadium is not only an architectural marvel but also a significant landmark that has played host to numerous international events over the years. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through the history, design, construction, and events held at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium – so buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable ride!


The Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is located in the Temeke district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The city itself is one of the most populous in East Africa and has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. The stadium sits in a prime location that provides easy access for fans who want to attend events.

Surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque views, it’s no wonder why this stadium serves as such an iconic landmark for both locals and tourists alike. Being situated in such an accessible area allows for a smooth flow of traffic during major sporting or cultural events hosted at the venue.

Moreover, nearby attractions like museums, shopping centers and restaurants make Benjamin Mkapa Stadium even more appealing to visitors from around the world. With its excellent location within close proximity to various amenities, it’s clear that this sports arena is not just an architectural marvel but also a crucial part of Tanzanian culture and society.

History of Benjamin Mkapa Stadium

Tanzania National Stadium, also known as Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, has a rich history dating back to the 1960s. The need for a national stadium in Tanzania arose when the country gained independence from Britain in 1961. At that time, there was no proper sporting facility to host international tournaments.

Initially, the stadium was constructed with a capacity of around 25,000 spectators and named Taifa Stadium (National Stadium). It took five years to complete its construction and was officially opened on June 23rd, 1972.

Over the years, various renovations have been made to keep up with modern standards while maintaining its unique architectural design. In honor of Benjamin William Mkapa’s contribution towards sports development in Tanzania as well as his presidency tenure from 1995-2005 – Taifa Stadium changed its name to Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.

The stadium has hosted several regional and international events including; African Cup of Nations qualifiers matches since it meets CAF regulations by having an all-seater configuration among others.

Design and Construction

The Tanzania National Stadium, commonly known as the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, has an impressive design and construction that is worth exploring. The stadium was designed by a Turkish architecture firm, Selcuk Avcı Architects, who won an international competition for the project.

Construction of the stadium began in 2016 after President John Magufuli laid its foundation stone. It took four years to complete and cost over $100 million. Interestingly, the Chinese government funded most of this project with a loan facility.

The stadium’s unique design comprises two levels: the lower level houses VIP lounges and seating areas while the upper level accommodates regular spectators. Moreover, it features state-of-the-art facilities such as changing rooms, media centres and hospitality suites.

One outstanding feature of Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is its translucent roof made from PTFE-coated fiberglass fabric membranes that allow natural light to enter during daytime events but protect from rainwater during rainy seasons. Additionally, there are several electronic scoreboards placed strategically across different parts of the stadium for easy viewing by fans.

Benjamin Mkapa Stadium’s design and construction demonstrate Tanzania’s commitment to modernizing sports infrastructure in East Africa while creating memorable experiences for sports enthusiasts locally and internationally.

Seating Capacity of Benjamin Mkapa Stadium

The Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, also known as the Tanzania National Stadium, is one of the most notable sports facilities in East Africa. Its seating capacity has been a source of fascination for many people interested in sports and stadium architecture.

With a current seating capacity of 60,000 spectators, it is considered to be one of the largest stadiums in East Africa. The main stand accommodates VIP guests and can hold up to 5,000 people while other stands have varying capacities ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 seats each.

Additionally, there are standing sections that allow more fans inside the stadium for popular matches and events. This means that an additional estimated number of around 15,000 fans can attend games at this venue on top of its seated capacity.

It’s worth noting that during construction between November 2014 and June 2019 the initial design was modified several times due to budgetary constraints. That resulted in a reduction of over ten thousand seats from what would have been its expected total seating capacity.

Despite this change in plans which may have brought disappointment among some supporters; Benjamin Mkapa Stadium remains an iconic venue with all modern amenities necessary to accommodate large crowds comfortably.

Events Held at Tanzania

Benjamin Mkapa Stadium has hosted numerous events since its construction. The stadium is a popular choice for various sports, cultural and entertainment activities in the country. One of the largest events held at the stadium was the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations where eight countries from across Africa competed.

The Tanzania Premier League matches are also regularly held at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, with Azam FC being one of the most popular teams to play there. In 2021, Vodacom Premier League saw a fierce match between Young Africans SC and Simba SC that took place at this magnificent facility.

In addition, international football games have been played here including friendly matches between Tanzania national team and other African nations such as Malawi and Burundi. Recently, English Premier League’s Everton FC visited Tanzania in July 2017 to play an exhibition game against Gor Mahia FC which was held at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

Apart from sports events, music concerts have also been held at this venue featuring local artists like Diamond Platnumz who has performed several times before large crowds while others include Chris Brown’s concert (Mombasa Rocks) that attracted thousands of fans across East Africa.

Benjamin Mkapa Stadium plays a significant role in hosting diverse events within Tanzania showcasing its versatility as it caters to different kinds of functions both local and international alike.

Tanzania National Team

The Tanzania National Team, also known as Taifa Stars, is the pride of Tanzanian football. The team was established in 1945 and has since then been representing Tanzania in various international competitions.

Despite being one of the lesser-known teams in Africa, Taifa Stars have had some notable achievements over the years. In 1980, they won their first-ever CECAFA Cup by defeating Uganda in the final. They repeated this feat two more times in 1994 and 2010.

However, it wasn’t until recently that Tanzania’s national team made headlines worldwide when they qualified for AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations) after a long drought of almost four decades. Although they didn’t make it past the group stage, their performance earned them respect from fans around the world.

The current head coach of Tanzania National Team is Etienne Ndayiragije who took charge of the team in August 2019 after Emmanuel Amunike’s departure. He has been working hard to reshape his squad and create a competitive team capable of qualifying for future tournaments.

There is no doubt that Tanzanian football still has a long way to go before becoming a powerhouse on an international level but with dedicated coaches like Ndayiragije and passionate players willing to put everything on the line for their country; there is hope that things will improve sooner than later!

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To sum it up, Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, also known as Tanzania National Stadium, is a remarkable and iconic sports facility in Dar es Salaam. The stadium has played host to some of the most significant events in Tanzanian sports history and continues to be an essential part of the country’s sporting culture.

With its spacious seating capacity, modern design features, and state-of-the-art facilities, Tanzania National Stadium stands out as one of Africa’s top sporting venues. It reflects Tanzania’s commitment to developing world-class infrastructure that meets international standards while providing spectators with unmatched comfort and convenience.

Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just looking for something fun to do on a weekend afternoon, Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is undoubtedly worth checking out. It offers an exciting atmosphere that brings people together from all walks of life to revel in their love for sport.

So why not plan your visit today? Who knows? You might even witness history being made at this incredible arena!


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