A former Mayor of Accra, Nat Nunoo Amarteifio has stated that it will “be extremely dangerous” for city authorities to venture into the construction of a huge venue for entertainment purposes.
“It is not the responsibility of the city to provide these kind of venues…what you are talking about is best served by the private sector…I think it will be extremely dangerous for the city even to think that they can get involved in this area,” he explained.
Event organizers have for years complained about the non-availability of large venues with the capacity of accommodating over 10,000 patrons.
The biggest venue; the Dome near the Conference Center in Accra which seats an estimated number of 4,000 people has been shut down for renovation following the Weekend Globe’s article on the security and safety hazard the center posed to users.
The recent venue most event organizers are targeting is the 40,000 seater Accra Sports Stadium but concerns have been raised about the inevitable possibility of damaging the grass and other structures at the stadium due to its wrongful use.
With the festive season drawing closer, a lot of events are scheduled to take place between now and January 2014 but due to the absence of large venues, the National Theatre, the Conference Center, the Accra Sports Stadium and probably the Trade Fair Center are about the only large venues expected to host such shows.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the former Mayor pointed out that Ghanaians should “learn to apportion responsibilities” and questioned why government should be “involved in an area which can best be served by people who want to maximize their profit and would want to provide the service?”
He further noted that there is non-availability of land in Accra to accommodate such huge structures saying, “what you are talking about requires quite a bit of land and when I look around Accra, there are not too many spots where we can have a venue of that size with the accompanying parking that goes with it so it would have to be outside Accra’s city living.”
In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer of Empire Entertainment, Kwabena Anokye Adisi popularly known as Bola Ray expressed the frustrations he and other event organizers go through before acquiring a venue.
“It’s a big problem; it’s a huge challenge because many of the places are sometimes booked so you will also have to go into talks with somebody who has actually booked the venue and see how best you can also use it. Maybe if it’s for a day and he is using it in the morning; you have to then go and plead with the person.”
He proposed that private businessmen in Ghana and government should come to an agreement to establish a venue which will cater for the entertainment needs of Ghanaians.
Bola Ray added that if this is done, “event charges or the rates that we charge for events will clearly come down.”
According to him, event organizers are unable to bring into the country on frequent basis, artistes from around the world because “if you look at their fees; if someone is going to charge you $200,000, and yes, Ghanaians also want the best in terms of entertainment, in terms of content…but if you look at their fees and you look at our venues, we are challenged.”
Culled from Citifmonline