The top 10 best football stadia in Nigeria currently as of this 2023 are discussed in this article. Because of their high-quality facilities and long-standing reputation for hosting both domestic and international football matches and competitions, these stadiums are regarded as the best in the country. The National Sports Festival, the All Africa Games, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, for which Nigeria holds the record with five victories, have all been held at some of the best and most well-known Nigerian stadiums. Let’s see what they are together as we proceed. You can also read up on the full list of all stadiums in Nigeria.
TOP 10 BEST FOOTBALL STADIA IN NIGERIA CURRENTLY (2023)
The following are the 10 best and most popular football stadiums in Nigeria this 2023:
GODSWILL AKPABIO INTERNATIONAL STADIUM, UYO
Akwa Ibom’s State capital, Uyo, is home to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, formerly known as the Akwa Ibom International Stadium. The stadium doubles as a venue for a variety of social, cultural, and religious activities as well as the home field for the Nigerian Super Eagles. Julius Berger received a 2012 contract to build the Akwa Ibom International Stadium complex and Games Village, which was finished in 2014.
The ultra-modern multifunctional sports complex with 30,000 seats was modelled after Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. After his inauguration ceremony there on May 29, 2015, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel renamed Akwa Ibom Stadium to Godswill Obot Akpabio International Stadium. Godswill Akpabio is the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State who is credited with building the stadium. Akwa United F.C. plays its home games at this stadium.
MOSHOOD ABIOLA NATIONAL STADIUM, ABUJA
The Super Eagles, the national football team of Nigeria, play their home games at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, which also serves as a venue for numerous social, cultural, and religious gatherings. On July 18, 2000, the Federal Government of Nigeria gave its approval to the development of the National Stadium complex and Games Village. The stadium was built to serve as the venue for the eighth All Africa Games, which were held there in October 2003.
The National Stadium, Abuja, according to a June 12, 2019 announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR was renamed to the Moshood Abiola Stadium during his speech at the Democracy Day celebration in Eagle Square, Abuja. One of the most significant architectural masterpieces in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, the Stadium features a football arena with a 60,491 seater and ultra-modern multifunctional sports complex.
U. J. ESUENE STADIUM, CALABAR
Calabar, the Capital City of Cross River State, Nigeria, is home to the multi-use U. J. Esuene Stadium. It is the home stadium of Calabar Rovers and previously Dolphins F.C., and it is mostly used for football games. The 16,000 seater stadium first opened its doors in 1977. On April 2, 1977, a game between newly formed Calabar Rovers of Calabar and Benin’s Bendel Insurance F.C. served as the UJ Esuene Stadium’s inaugural event.
Two weeks later, the stadium played host to a match between Enugu Rangers and Tonnerre Yaoundé that was played on an international level and featured players like Emmanuel Okala, Christian Chukwu, and Roger Milla. The U. J. Esuene Stadium hosted matches from the 2003 All-Africa Games as well as Nigeria’s qualifiers for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in October 2003. Additionally, it was shortlisted as a venue for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Another improvement to the stadium is a cutting-edge electronic video-matrix scoreboard with spectacular floodlights.
YAKUBU GOWON STADIUM, PORT HARCOURT
The Yakubu Gowon Stadium, formerly known as Liberation Stadium, is a multi-use stadium in Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers State in Nigeria. It is located in the Elekahia neighbourhood. It serves as the home stadium for Rivers United F.C., originally known as Dolphins F.C., and is primarily utilized for football games nowadays. The stadium can hold 16,000 people. It was renamed in 2015 in honour of General Yakubu Gowon, a former military head of state of Nigeria. It is one of the eight stadiums that hosted the FIFA World Youth Championship (U-20 FIFA World Cup) in 1999 when Nigeria served as the host nation.
ENYIMBA INTERNATIONAL STADIUM, ABA
The 16,000-seat Enyimba International Stadium, formerly the Aba Township Stadium, is situated in Aba, the economic hub of Abia State. As the home field of Enyimba F.C., one of the most prosperous football clubs in Nigeria and Africa right now, this multi-use stadium is currently utilized primarily for football games.
SANI ABACHA STADIUM, KANO
In Kano State, Nigeria, the Sani Abacha Stadium serves a variety of functions. Currently, it is primarily utilized for football games, but sporting events do take place there occasionally. Kano Pillars F.C. resides in the stadium. The stadium can hold 16,000 spectators. Sani Abacha, a former military Head of State, is honoured by its name. The 2000 African Cup of Nations and the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup were just two of the major competitions that it has hosted. The greatest average home attendance in the Nigerian league in 2016–17 belonged to the Kano Pillars for national league games, which was 10,000.
NNAMDI AZIKIWE STADIUM, ENUGU
The multi-use Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium is located in Enugu State. It is the home stadium of Enugu Rangers and is now primarily utilized for football games. The stadium, which seats 22,000 people, bears Dr. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe’s name, who served as Nigeria’s first president. The stadium was previously owned by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
As far back as 1959, the facility was the sports ground of the corporation, the Eastern District. This is not surprising as the corporation was in the forefront of the promotion of sports during and even after the colonial era. As time went on, apparently because of its strategic location right at the heart of Enugu, the defunct Eastern Nigeria Government took over the management of the venue and raised its profile.
The stadium served as the Eastern District of the corporation’s sports complex as early as 1959. This is hardly unexpected considering the company was at the forefront of sports promotion both during and after the colonial era. As time went on, the venue’s management was taken over by the now-defunct Eastern Nigeria Government, who enhanced its profile, ostensibly as a result of the venue’s advantageous location in the centre of Enugu.
Following then, there was a push to rebuild the building. This prompted joint efforts by the then-existing Anambra State Government and the business sector to gather money for the stadium’s reconstruction, which was opened in 1986. The stadium underwent another renovation 13 years later to make room for the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Nigeria in 1999. It hosted crucial games, such as Nigeria’s defeat against Mali in the quarterfinals.
The stadium currently has artificial turf and a videomatrix scoreboard instead of the natural grass it had. The stadium underwent these and other renovations in order to become a more contemporary and technologically advanced structure because it served as one of the venues for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009. At the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009, Group D matches involving Turkey, Costa Rica, Burkina Faso, and New Zealand were played there.
STEPHEN KESHI STADIUM, ASABA
Nigeria’s Asaba is home to the multipurpose Stephen Keshi Stadium. The Governor Okowa Main Bowl, a complex for both football and athletics, serves as the stadium’s primary arena. Stephen Keshi, one of the best Nigerian football players of all time, was honoured with the naming of the stadium, which was earlier known as Asaba Township Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 22,000 spectators, and it served as the site of the 2018 African Athletics Championships. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo officially inaugurated it in 2018.
SAMUEL OGBEMUDIA STADIUM, BENIN CITY
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, also referred to as “Ogbe” Stadium, is a multi-use sports facility situated in Benin City, the capital City of Edo State, in southern Nigeria. It is named after Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, a former governor of the former Bendel State, and now has a seating capacity of 20,000. Bendel Insurance FC presently plays its home games at Ogbe Stadium, which also occasionally hosts international and friendly matches.
LOKOJA CONFLUENCE STADIUM
Confluence Stadium is a multi-use stadium with 25,000 seats located in Lokoja, Niger State. In the Nigeria National League and Nigeria Women Premier League, it serves as the home field for Kogi United and Confluence Queens, respectively. It served as a temporary location for Niger Tornadoes home matches during the Nigeria Professional Football League in 2016–2017.