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Top 8 games record better turnout

The ever growing appeal of the Mascom top 8 tournament is believed to have been underlined when the competition recorded slightly improved match attendances with Orapa United Vs Security Systems game witnessing a slightly high turnout.

The tournament held four quarterfinal 1st leg matches a fortnight ago. The first game played was between Orapa United and Systems, at Itekeng Stadium on 22nd of November. According to premier league office statistics, 1104 tickets were sold for this game. It is remarkable how Orapa United numbers beat those of Rollers game which was played the following day.

Rollers, a club well known to command a large following could not take its numbers higher than that of Orapa.  Numbers reveal that only 1055 people attended Rollers – Molepolole City Stars tie. The game was played at Molepolole Stadium in the afternoon of November 23rd.  
In Jwaneng, a game between Galaxy and Gaborone United recorded 1093 spectators. It was a match played on the 24th of November, a Sunday afternoon. While all these numbers were over the 1000 mark, organizers of these games believe that going forward, a lot can be done to improve attendance.

These matches are a reflective of the continued improvements undertaken to enhance the prestige and standards of the competition, organizers say. On a good day, attendance records reach 9 000, especially if it is a final match. Even though it proved difficult to get hold of last season’s numbers, it is said it was worse as compared to this year’s scenario. For this year alone, BDF XI/ Police XI clash was the only poorly attended game recording 102 spectators.

These numbers are expected to grow as the tournament enters into a more competitive stage. The teams are playing each other to progress to the semi-finals. The winner is anticipated to pocket P 1.4K after a round of 5 games. It is further understood that the decision undertaken to go for a toss before the commencement of the tournament was a master stroke.

High numbers at the stadium means gate takings are also increasing. However, it is still noted that these clubs are seen to be making losses on all fronts. The clubs, over the past seasons have been paying Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) 25% of gate takings. Teams however have cried foul over the percentage, arguing that they were not making profit. The teams said they usually struggled to pay players amongst other things, this after they pay a hefty stadia levy.

However a new payment plan has been hatched. A lump sum, ranging between P1.2 and P1.5 million is paid to the Sport Commission to cater for this levy. This was done to enable teams to recoup 100% as gate takings to further improve players’ living conditions.This also means that the issue of ticketing has become the sole responsibility of premier league teams, and not the premier league board as it has been the case.

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