Savanna offers to rename Rufaro Stadium

rufaroInnocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
LOCAL cigarette manufacturer Savanna Tobacco (Pvt) Ltd wants to rename Rufaro Stadium to Pacific Stadium as part of a US$10 million deal with the City of Harare to upgrade the facility by installing bucket seats and erecting an electronic scoreboard. According to the council business committee meeting minutes of January 30 this year, the company wants to invest US$100 000 in drafting a sustainable business plan for the stadium.

Councillors, however, want the new name to include “Rufaro”.
Savanna Tobacco representatives told councillors that the upgraded stadium will have an enclosed and secure parking area while gaps in the pre-cast wall would be closed off.

New paid parking bays will be designed while boom gates will be placed at the entrance and exit.
“Fans would be able to purchase their tickets in advance online via mobile money and one gets to the turnstiles and swipes either his phone or ticket to gain access.

“Comfortable numbered seats which are categorised depending on the seating area would be installed.
“An electronic scoreboard to relay time, team sheets, score- line, minutes played or extended time would be erected,” said the cigarette manufacturer’s representatives.

They want to install a public address system and provide free wireless Internet access for fans.
The city will get US$100 0000 annually in naming rights, increasing its revenue from the facility by 33 percent.

It will also get a 900 percent increase over the US$30 000 advertising revenue and 40 percent ticket sales increment given the new seat categorisation.

In return the company wants a ten-year renewable contract and the finalisation and completion of negotiations done prior to the 2014 Premier Soccer League season.

The committee advised Savanna that the name Rufaro Stadium was embedded in the public and was iconic to all Hararians and the football community, hence any name had to factor that in.

The committee underscored the need for comprehensive stakeholder consultations on the matter.
Councillors noted the benefits that would accrue to the city from the proposal, and mandated town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi and the directorate of housing and community services to enter negotiations with Savanna Tobacco and report back to the committee.

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  • Thumani

    Why change the indigenous name for a foreign one, it is good as it is?

    • James Tg

      Jimmy Tg
      Pacific zvinoreveyi? Tashaya zvedu here? Uku kuda kuratidza chiyi? Kana mapererwa idaidzei KAGUVI- Rufaro Stadium. Hatizodyiwa futi paground iri ndapika ini na Sekuru KAGUVI.

      • zata

        Ndizvozvo wena hapana zvazvinoreva kusandura zita,kana vada ngavavake ravo stadium voita madanha ekupa mazita,vanamucheka dzafa hativadi isu

    • Blue

      Its marketing/advertising boss. Do your research well and you will see how it bolsters a business..


    No, build your own stadium and name it whatever you want.

    • Blue

      Its called marketing Sir.. Do your research well and you will see why a company would want to do that..

      • Sarudzai

        Like the Emirates Arsenal Stadium

    • gutu chitovah


    • G Tichatonga

      You have no idea what this is all about. In Europe this is how income is generated. You can bring back the Rufaro name after expiry of the contract.

    • Wolves Witches and Giants

      OMG. The Stadium is crumbling. The toilets at Rufaro are overflowing with human waste. Do you people even know where Rufaro is? Let alone how it looks like?

      Its ironic you use the name Bantu really. A round hut and a field to hunt mbeva is all you need.

  • joemuda

    Why change the name? Why can’t you upgrade the stadium without changing the name? Isu tinongoziva kuti Rufaro stadium chete, manje kana mavakuda kubvisa Rufaro panaRufaro stadium, bva vakai yenyu. futi anobva awanda maStadium acho.

    • Blue

      Its marketing/advertising Sir.. Do your research well and you will see why a company would want to do that.. Its all business, nothing sinister..

    • jephy

      Ko Etihad Stadium yakaitwa izvozvo wani, hazvina kana dhiri kana mari yavo yapera modzorera chi sign chokuti Rufaro

    • Sarudzai

      Why did Arsenal name their stadium Emirates , bcoz of sponsors.

    • Wolves Witches and Giants

      Its called marketing.

  • Popi

    Pacific its the name of the brand. Why sponsor if their brand is not being promoted. And with such myopia we wonder why we don’t progress as a nation.

  • MweniTafara

    Taking away the invaluable African name Rufaro to some Pacific nothing for a pile of bond paper painted green with some names of some northern deity is not worth it, its like auctioning dear mama for a hot dog.


      Football is big business n until we treat it as , we wl always argue n fail to see the big picture. If the stadium incorporates this Gwanzura name in it’s re-naming what does that cause. We hv players who derive their income from football, lest we forget.

  • Ziso

    No problem Savanna sponsorship comes with benefits otherwise we would not have even a single sponsor

  • Wake Up

    This is a business transaction and Zimbos need to wake up. I do not go to Rufaro coz of its condition but if this is put in place then the stadium will be safer and more comfortable and am sure will attract more people. Its a small price for success and people do not come for the name but for what happens there!! Its like saying lets not welcome a BOT on our roads. Wake up Zimbos!

    • flyby

      can i give u a new name,for a price of cause

  • Master Cde

    Rigid minds, poor souls… There is nothing in a name, isa mari yako if you dnt want name change. Y do u hinder investment? Saka murivarombo

    • joemuda

      If they want name change ngavavake yavo stadium. We would greatly appreciate it.

    • CharlaBee

      hausi webhora ndosaka uri kuti their s nothing in a name.arsenal built a new stadium and named it Emirates.Liverpool want to renovate and uplift Anfield but they are not changing its name,why?they know the tradition of a stadium’s name in football matters

      • Gooner

        Arsenal’s new stadium was named Ashburton Groove & Fly Emirates paid money in a similar deal and renamed the stadium Emirates

  • kura


  • Mafira Kureva

    For a struggling entity like City of Harare, i don’t see anything wrong with this. Especially if we consider that the artificial turf was supposed to have undergone some maintinence in 2010 costing a USD100 000 and must be completely changed in the next 4 years.
    May the city fathers put on their thinking caps rather than walk with their prideful shoes on. What Savanna wants is to market their product (Pacific) chete, then improve on the stadium. As it stands right now, its a danger to play in that stadium as it causes injuries on players. If this deal does not go through, i can assure you that Rufaro stadium will nolonger be used in the next 4 years:Mark may words

    • Blue

      Its all business, nothing sinister..

  • KuraiMGT

    Just name it Rufaro Pacific. I think its a good deal, maybe we can have a stadium that is closer to modern

  • G

    Two thumbs up to Savvana. This is exactly what Zimbabwean soccer needs. You just need to come up with a more indigenous name, but one which is still to your marketing advantage.

  • mr lee

    We have no connection with the name Pacific my foot ngave chinje fodya yavo inzi rufaro

  • tinono

    Whats in a name, call it anything mhani!

    • makwavararama

      Gumbonzvanda stadium


    I think the offer by Savanna is a noble one,its rare these days to a company being prepared to part away with their cash hence the need for the city fathers to grab that offer.The issue of the proposed new name incorparating the name Rufaro is baseless beacause that alone does not bring the envisaged revenue.

  • nigmaky

    zvirinani pane kuti rirambe rakadaro, city of harare haigoni kuchengetedza watadza kugadzirisa turf iyo zvechokwadi, siyai wanogona waite basa

  • makwavararama

    Pacific Rufaro

  • Munhu

    Poor souls, a name is a very powerful thing that is why i know that stadium as Rufaro, i have never seen the board rakanzi Rufaro but i know kuti rinonzi Rufaro, having said that, kune avo vanetumafeelings attached to the name, dont worry you can still refer to it as Rufaro, but as for us the progressive few we beg you Pacific please invest and change the name if you want, as long as you upgrade the stadium to a better standards. after 4 years you can change it back, FNB stadium was changed to Soccer City after renovations and then after the world cup pple were called up to bid for the stadium and FNB won, now its back to FNB but its now a bigger and world class stadium, WAKE UP!!!!

  • dubazana

    i like it. why not use Pacific Rufaro stadium.; or Rufaro Pacific Stadium. in four years time 8it will be okay in our ears, us of the the old school

  • Mutasa

    Well if they don’t pay their taxes and all their cigarettes are ending up in the South African market which are smuggled , then of course they can have a cash flow to do this type of thing, wake up ZIMRA, u losing cash every day to these guys

  • Ninjaman

    It’s called naming rights a sport practice worldwide. Stadiums are named after Companies , brands etc. This is one of the major income generating avenues in the USA.

  • Pretty

    its a noble idea I thnk

  • nhamoinesu

    That is the trend world wide guys , let them invest in the stadium , nice toilets , parking , pekugara pari bhoo , ndo development yacho

  • Blair

    It is a very noble and welcome gesture but coming from a company associated with tobacco, we also have to look ahead and perform thorough research before putting pen to paper. Fifa, the world football controlling body and World Health Organisation have agreed to ban tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship, cigarette sales or other tobacco products, smoking within or outside the stadium during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
    Maybe since our local league is not that visible outside the country, we might get away with it, but if we were to host a major continental tournament in future there may be some challenges.

  • dhehwa72

    Name suggestions please and I start, Rufaro Paciffic Stadium

  • ashumba

    musata kujaira kuba mari marketing yekupa mari kanzuru yematsosti mariiyoyo yakatobiwa isati yabhadharwa


    Matakadyakare haanyaradze mwana. You can keep the name rufaro and never use it again. Teams are now running away from it. Muchatambirwa magitare nanamacheso umu. No one can maintain the ground. Yaimbova rufaro yes, yakapedza basa rayo. Ngaive pacific tozokuudzai afta 10 yrs kuti yapedza basa.