New Madagascar rugby stadium unveiled By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Monday, December 17   2012 at  10:51

Makis Stadium in the Madagascar capital Antananarivo that was opened by President Andry Rajoelina December 15, 2012. RIVONALA RAZAFISON | NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has inaugurated a new rugby stadium in the capital Antananarivo

The Temple of Rugby, situated on the western side of Antananarivo, was officially unveiled Saturday afternoon

Also known as Kianja Makis (Makis Stadium), the sports venue sits on a 4-hectare plot with a 10,000 spectator capacity.

It's parking lot can accommodate 128 cars.

The Temple of Rugby, the first and only one of its kind in Madagascar, will also host athletics and other competitions.

The stadium was built by the French company Colas, that in 1986 constructed the 50,000 capacity Stadium of Mahamasina,also in Antananarivo.

According to the project coodinator, Petera Ratalata, Makis Stadium was structurally sound as all the technical problems that arose during the constructions were fixed on time. 

Tight schedule

The biggest challenge, he said, was the tight schedule.

"We aren’t used to accomplishing big projects within a very short time,” Ratalata told the Africa Review.

President Rajoelina muted the idea of the Temple of Rugby in October 2010.

However, the actual construction began almost two years later, with the authorities remaining cagey about the real cost of the project.

President Rajoelina also promised the construction of the Malagasy Federation of Bowls.

“The work will begin next week,” he said Saturday.

The promise may, however, not be fulfilled soon as the land earmarked for it is the subject of a dispute lodged by the family of ousted President Marc Ravalomanana, who has been in exile in South Africa following the military-backed 2009 coup.