The 2021 FDH Bank Cup runners-up Ekwendeni Hammers have dumped Mzuzu Stadium as their home venue in favour of Rumphi Stadium for their remaining first-round TNM Super League assignments.
Hammers Patron Gift Mkandawire said the decision was taken because of poor gate-revenue collection at Mzuzu Stadium.
Mkandawire said they had agreed with Rumphi District Council to contribute towards construction of the stadium’s terraces.
“This arrangement was there for some time. The partnership started during the time of constructing the stadium. We also contributed to the construction of stands at the time.
“The agreement then was that we would recover whatever we invested in the facility from gate collections. Our plan was to turn the facility into our home ground. This was well before Rumphi United earned promotion to the Super League,” he said.
Rumphi Stadium Manager Tobias Mwale, who is also the district’s Sports Committee chairperson, described the development as pleasing.
“We are overwhelmed with joy to see Ekwendeni Hammers relocating to our stadium. The people of Rumphi are now assured of watching quality football. We are very grateful to management of the club,” Mwale said.
He said Hammers and district council officials would hold a meeting to review the previous agreement.
“Hammers, indeed, contributed to the construction of this stadium and there were terms which were agreed upon. We will find time to review them so that everyone is happy. We will now have two Super League teams playing their home matches here.
“This has been our long-cherished dream and we are excited. We want these teams to be with us here for as long as they can. We have, therefore, put in place strict measures to ensure that they maximise revenue from gate collections,” Mwale said.
Hammers, who held Silver Strikers to a 1-1 stalemate at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe a fortnight ago, are 10th on the Super League table with 11 points from 10 matches.
Their first assignment at Rumphi Stadium is against Blantyre giants Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Saturday.