The estimated 6000 fans who flocked to Sam Nujoma Stadium a fortnight ago to watch the Katutura derby between Black Africa and African Stars could have probably doubled were it not for BA asking N$50 for a ticket.
Asking such a hefty gate fee for an arguably biggest game in the country can be compared to taxi drivers who want the taxi fares to be increased to N$13 from the current N$9. But does it make business sense?
It’s true Namibian football clubs are not financially well-off but BA’s decision to charge such fees for their so-called home big matches, is just pathetic.
BA’s marketing and communication officer, Cassius Moetie, last year announced the entrance fees of all their Category A matches would be increased to N$50 for the rest of the season - in line with the club’s Golden Jubilee anniversary celebrations, when it turns 50 this year.
The so-called Category A matches are against Tigers, African Stars and Orlando Pirates and for these matches, the new fee will apply, not the traditional N$30.
While there is already an outcry of supporters not filling the seats in stadiums, does BA’s decision help?
Whomever does not reside in Katutura will end up forking out N$77 to get to the stadium to watch the game. This, including the taxi fares, an amount which will eventually rise to about N$200, if refreshments are to be considered.
If 6000 people pay N$50, BA would pocket N$300 000 but if 12 000 people pay N$30, it would get N$360 000. N$60 000 does not make much difference but, at least, the stadium would have more people.
One can argue even if the derby ticket cost N$30, less people would come but one can also argue they might have come this time around because there was so much hype around the matches, as the teams were just separated by one point. They had the chance to go top and they will be representing Namibia in Africa this season. It’s all about how the team management markets the match.
BA will be charging N$50, again, for their CAF champions league home-match against Kaizer Chiefs on 15th of this month. My opinion is, BA should reduce the ticket price to N$30, or even N$20, since many soccer enthusiasts will not want to miss the opportunity to watch Chiefs’ players live for the first time. That players’ list will include Siphiwe Tsabalala, the man who scored the first goal of the World Cup that had been held for the first time in Africa. This will then ensure that the Independence Stadium’s capacity of 25 000 is full.