Local football has recently failed to attract good numbers at league matches as fans continue to shun the games for various reasons. For the past seasons, only the Mascom Top 8 final has been able to attract thousands to the stadium.
However, on Saturday afternoon when Township Rollers hosted Young Africans of Tanzania in the second leg of the CAF Champions League second round, an estimated 19,000 fans thronged the 22,500-capacity National Stadium, making it the largest crowd to be pulled by any local football club.
This mainly is due to the cheaply priced tickets for the rather high profile fixture. The lowest ticket was sold at just P10 with the highest priced at P60. The prices were drastically reduced compared to 2015 when Rollers hosted Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa in the club continental competition. The lowest ticket that time was priced at P70 while the highest was P200.
Speaking to this publication after the weekend’s game against Yanga, Rollers’ spokesperson Bafana Pheto said the club would definitely think of reducing the league ticket prices since they want to bring in the numbers to the games, but would have to be given the greenlight by the Botswana Premiere League (BPL) office, as they are the regulators.
“We had allocated the 19,000 tickets for the game because we had to give an allowance for extra space in the stadium for emergency events such as stampedes. We are happy about the turnout for this game. But for the league games, the BPL decides on
He further said the club’s #PackTheStadium was a success though the exact figures could not be confirmed. He said the aim was to bring a large number of spectators to the stadium rather than to generate profit. “We are happy with the crowd, the most important thing was having fans fill up the stadium to its capacity and rally behind our boys. It was more than making money from ticket sales. Our target for this season was to reach the group stages and we had to do that with the 12th man behind us to give courage to the players,” he said.
Rollers have now pocketed at least the sum of $550,000 (approx. P5.5 million) for reaching the group stages of the tournament.
The team has already promised their players handsome bonuses for achieving the feat.