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Sports

Bingu National Stadium fees hiked

K10 million to hire the facility

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Government has hiked the hiring fee for Bingu National Stadium (BNS) from K4 million to a minimum of K10 million per day for private sector players intending to use the facility for sporting events, Times Sport can reveal.

Interestingly, churches pay K10 million to hold an event at the venue for a day while sporting associations are deducted 25 percent from gate collections gross.

The development comes as BNS is expected to host the Airtel Top 8 Cup final between holders Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers on Saturday.

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Sources said the move is targeting companies that do not directly support sporting activities when the government calls for assistance.

“There are some companies that are involved in sports but are not contributing enough to support the government in the country, yet those companies post huge profits. There are other companies doing a lot for sports in the country; as such, those companies will be given a special rate because of their support,” the source said.

However, Ministry of Sports Principal Secretary Isaac Katopola said they have devised the pricing mechanism due to the rising cost of maintenance at BNS.

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“It is not easy to maintain the facility. The day-to-day running and maintenance costs of BNS have proved to be expensive. It has a monthly average allocation of K4 million for its running. You can agree with me that the cost of many things has gone up. This is why we have come up with a pricing system.

“For public sector, they will be paying less but for the private sector or commercial purposes, the fee will be a little higher and they will be paying a minimum of K10 million,” he said.

Differential pricing system is a strategy in which a company or an organisation sets different prices for the same product on the basis of differing customer type and time of purchase, among other factors.

Katopola, said during football matches sanctioned by Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom), the facility is entitled to 25 percent of gate revenue gross.

“However, this will be reviewed accordingly as Fam is affiliated to the Malawi National Council of Sports. We are doing this because the general public expects the best from the facility [BNS],” he said.

BNS acting Manager Ambilike Mwaungulu said the move was timely.

“This is long overdue because the fees were last reviewed and adjusted over two years ago. I hope the sports fraternity will understand because the churches have been paying this amount [K10 million]. The whole price structure needs to be reviewed,” he said.

Mwaungulu said deducting 25 percent of gross had a setback as some matches were poorly attended.

“In such situation, we operate at a loss, hence incurring extra expenses. That arrangement works when there is a match involving crowd pullers,” he said.

The Chinese government funded the project to the tune of $70 million (then it was about K29 billion) through a concession loan.

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