It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Calabar Rovers and previously Dolphins F.C. (Port Harcourt). The stadium has a capacity of 16,000 and opened in 1977. It has been short-listed as a stadium for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The UJ Esuene Stadium was inaugurated on the 2 April 1977 with a match between Benin’s Bendel Insurance F.C. and newly formed Calabar Rovers of Calabar. Two weeks later, the stadium hosted an international encounter between Enugu Rangers and Tonnerre Yaoundé – a game that featured the likes of Roger Milla, Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okalla. It has a capacity of 16,000.
Games at the 2003 All-Africa Games were also played at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in October 2003, as were Nigeria’s qualifiers for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
The stadium has been further upgraded to include an ultra modern electronic video-matrix scoreboard, with impressive floodlights. At Nigeria 2009, Calabar hosted games in Group C, which includes Iran, Colombia, the Netherlands and Gambia.