Bingu National Stadium management has set terms and conditions for the use of the facility ahead of the 2017 season which kicks off next month.
According to stadium manager Eric Ning’ang’a, those wishing to play at the stadium will have to apply two weeks before the match and pay a deposit of at least K1 million or K2 million depending on the match.
After the match, the normal gate revenue sharing system will apply in which the stadium owner gets 25 percent, clubs 25 percent, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) 10 percent each while Malawi National Council of Sports gets five percent.
“This is not a facility that one can just walk in and use for free. We have conditions of service that apply to all stadium users. Mind you, apart from the pitch, we have other facilities for hiring and the conditions are not different. It’s not just Sulom [Super League of Malawi] or FAM [Football Association of Malawi]. The only scenario where the stadium will be used for free is when there is a State function,” said Ning’ang’a.
Asked if this will not short change Super League clubs, Ning’ang’a said they are aware of the plight of the clubs, but they have to take into consideration the need for the facility to generate revenue.
“We cannot force people to come and use the stadium, but we are confident that those that want to use this magnificent facility and appreciate it, will see the need to pay the deposit,” he said.
The national stadium has facilities such as a synthetic running track, a natural grass football pitch, a conference room, shopping and exhibition rooms, press galleries, a treatment room, bathrooms and a car park.
“We will also handle all the ticketing and gate management. No club or organisation will be allowed to bring their own tickets during matches,” he said.
Ning’ang’a said this would eradicate gate fraud which has plagued most of the match venues.
The facility also has fire fighting technology, a stand-by generator and floodlights.
While a clear estimate of monthly utility bills such as electricity and water is not clear, the total cost for maintaining the facility is estimated at K130 million per year.
Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development director Jameson Ndalama said the proposed conditions of services are yet to be approved by the minister.
“What I can say is that the proposed conditions of services were submitted to the minister for approval. He has not yet responded, so let’s wait until the time when he does that and then we will make them public,” he said.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said he was not aware of the terms and conditions.
“It is news to me. But as you are saying, they are yet to be approved by the minister, so we will wait,” he said.
FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka was also not aware that they would be required to pay a deposit.
“Last time we organised a match at the stadium was the Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza final second leg and we did not pay the deposit,” he said. “Anyway, we will wait for the official communication.”
The match, which was the first ever at the stadium, raised a record K47 million. The stadium pocketed 25 percent of the gate collections (K9.6 million).