The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) last season made more money from games played in Lilongwe than anywhere else in the country.
Sulom records indicate that a game between Escom United and Epac FC made K40 000 (about $239) at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre whereas the same teams playing at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe netted K160 000 (about $958).
When Mighty Wanderers and Blue Eagles met in Balaka last season K167 000 (about $1 000) was collected, but K600 800 (about $3 597) was realised when the two sides met at Nankhaka.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda said during the week that Lilongwe games have been well patronised throughout the season compared to those played in Blantyre, Mzuzu or Zomba.
He said games involving smaller teams did well too in terms of revenue.
“Sulom teams benefited more from games played in Lilongwe than in Blantyre. There is so much passion for football from fans,” said Somba-Banda.
He added: “There is a big gap and even the total revenue collected from the Central Region by us and teams is bigger than that collected in Blantyre, Mzuzu, Zomba, Balaka and Nchalo. The situation was worse when Wanderers and Big Bullets were banned from playing at Kamuzu Stadium.”
The promotion of Kamuzu Barracks (KB) to the Super League means more football for the Lilongwe fans.
Silver Strikers, Civo United, Epac FC, Blue Eagles and KB will each host seven matches.
“Definitely, KBâ€™s promotion means a boost in revenue for Lilongwe teams. Those that own stadiums such as Civo and Silver stand to benefit more,” said Sulom president Innocent Bottomani.
Between Civo and Silver stadiums, it is not yet known which one will be KB home ground.
Sulom has attributed increase in the number of Central Region teams in its fold to steady sponsorship.
Epac, Mafco and Kamuzu Barracks, who are the regionâ€™s recent additions to the league have defied relegation at the expense of Zomba United, Nkhata Bay United, Blackpool and recently Embangweni United.
“It is clear that steady sponsorship has played a key role for some of the teams to remain in the league for a third successive season,” said Bottomani.
Southern Region Football League (SRFL) chairperson Trouble Kalua admitted that the league in the Centre has an edge over the South due to steady sponsorship.
Meanwhile, Central Region Football League (CRFL) chairperson Dean Josiah Banda has said he will assist Kamuzu Barracks in planning for the next season.
“We will sit down with them and scrutinise their budget. We want them to stay in the league. For that to happen, they need to have a strong squad. We are a family and we need to assist each other so that there should be no relegation,” said Banda.
Kamuzu Barracks chairperson Captain Gilbert Mittawa has also vowed that his team has gone into the top-flight league to stay.