Bingu National Stadium (BNS) management has said the Lilongwe facility which was officially launched over a week ago, has received enquiries from various companies to hire rooms for their businesses or space to place adverts.
The infrastructure, with a capacity of 40 000, reportedly cost $70 million (about K52 billion) borrowed from China. Among other facilities, it has got several cubicles which can be turned into shops and offices.
In an interview, stadium manager Eric Ning’ang’a said: “The response we have received after it was launched is overwhelming. Most of those contacting us want to put advertising boards while others are interested to hire cubicles.”
Ning’ang’a also said they have asked those interested in forming business partnerships with BNS to formally apply while revealing that the criteria for letting out spaces will strictly be based on first come first served.
Ning’ang’a has stated that the interest which is coming from non-football related investors is good for maximising of revenue generation.
“The key purpose of the stadium is hosting soccer matches but the fact that there are other business interests confirms our plans to make the facility a multipurpose thing where business, other sports disciplines and religious sectors, among others, can hire it,” he said.
During the launch President Peter Mutharika dismissed suggestions from critics that the stadium is a waste of resources. He sounded optimistic that the infrastructure will generate revenue owing to the many facilities that can be hired out.
“This stadium is not a white elephant and we will be able to generate enough revenue. We have many facilities here (such as) rooms that can be hired for conferences and banquets,” he stated. n