Lekan Salami Stadium also known as the Adamasingba stadium is the home ground of the Oluyole Warriors (shooting stars) since replacing the Liberty Stadium. Apart from league matches involving shooting stars, other local football matches such as the Oyo State FA Cup, Governors’ Cup, Secondary School football competitions, sub regional, continental, national and international football competitions among others are also hosted in the Lekan Salami stadium.
Here are 8 things you didn’t know about the Lekan Salami Stadium
It was formerly a race course
Adamasingba complex was built on 130,000 square meters of land, formerly occupied by Ibadan race course. The race course space had gone unused and had been occupied by illegal structures and activities, to reclaim the land, the military government of Major General Jemibewon decided to build a recreational and sports complex. While the initial design was for a sports and recreational complex, provision of additional facilities for shops was later added.
The project was divided into two phases
The project, then, was divided into two phases because of its multiplex nature in construction and financing. The first phase was planned to include the construction of a standard main bowl, a theatre, squash and tennis courts, a gymnasium, basketball courts, a swimming pool and a shopping centre and the second phase of the construction was planned to include the fixing of floodlight, electronic scoreboard, an auxiliary viewing centre, painting of the stadium, dressing rooms for sports men, media chalet renovation and other minor constructions as well as finishing touches.
It cost 43 Million to build the stadium
Then in 1977, 26 million naira was budgeted for the first phase of the construction, While 17 million naira was set aside for the implementation of the second phase of the plan, which brings the whole budget to 43 million naira.
It was built during the military regime
The Adamasingba stadium as a project started in 1977 by Major-General David Jemibewon then lieutenant-colonel, who served as military governor of the now defunct Western State (August 1975 – March 1976) during the military regime of General Murtala Muhammed, and later as governor of Oyo State after it had been created from part of the old Western State (March 1976 -July 1978) during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1977.
On May 25, 1988, the project was inaugurated by the now late Augustus Aikhomu, then a vice admiral and Chief of General Staff under the administration of Colonel Adetunji Idowu Ishola Olurin, who was then the military governor of Oyo State.
The Stadium has a rich history
The final of the 1988 edition of the Nigerian FA Cup (Cjallenge Cup), between Iwuayanwu Nationale of Owerri, now Heartland and the defunct Flash Flamingos of Benin took place at the stadium, with the Owerri side winning 3-0.
Shooting Stars claimed their second continental title (the maiden edition of the then CAF Cup) donated by the late business mogul, Chief M.K.O Abiola in 1992, at the stadium.
Lekan Salami Stasium hosted the first leg , Italia 90 World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, which the Eagles won by 2-0
Interestingly, Super Eagles’ last friendly match before the team departed the country enroute USA 94 for its maiden World Cup appearance was played at the Lekan Salami Stadium on June 11, 1994.
Mike Odu, then of El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, became the first player to score at the stadium, as his solitary strike earned his team a 1-0 win over Shooting Stars, in the match organised to open the arena.
Home of Talents
A stadium can be many things to many people. Several times, it is where home-grown talents are discovered, nurtured and given their first opportunities. Muda Lawal ‘the ball whisperer’ started from the Lekan Salami Stadium; a young mechanic rose through the ranks to become one of Nigeria’s sporting greats. He won the biggest African titles for both club and country. We also have the likes of Ike Shorunmu, Abiodun Baruwa, Edith Agoye now the Technical Adviser, Oladimeji Lawal (Kabongo) the Present Team Manager of shooting stars.
Officially named the Adamasingba Sports Complex, but the stadium was rechristened after the football club’s patron, Lekan Salami, an astute businessperson and philanthropist who played a major role in the rise of Shooting Stars to the summit of African Football
To re-echo Chief Lekan Salami’s contribution to the sport culture of Oyo state is the tribute paid to him in an inscription below the statue erected in his memory at the front of the main bowl: “a great sports lover, enthusiast and philantropist. The leading Oyo state soccer team Oluyole Warriors (formerly IICC) enjoyed tremendous financial and moral support from this great football lover. Hence, this sports complex was named after him and this statue dedicated to his honour and memory.
In 2020,The Oyo State Government under the administration of Engr. Seyi Makinde signed a contractual agreement with Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd for the remodeling of Lekan Salami Sports complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, at a cost of over N5.580 billion.According to him, the contractor will fund the project while the state government will repay over 29 months.
Lekan salami stadium new look
Although the reconstruction project is still ongoing , this is how the Lekan salami stadium looks now