THE closure of Barbourfields Stadium and Luveve Stadium seem to have come as a blessing in disguise for Bulawayo football giants Highlanders who are deemed to be one of the Premier Soccer League cash cows.
Bosso played against Triangle at Hartsfield Stadium on Thursday in a midweek PSL fixture following the closure of Barbourfields and Luveve due to construction that is taking place at the facilities for the African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Youth Games to be hosted by Bulawayo in December.
Prior to the game Highlanders hiked gate charges to $5, $10 and $20 for the rest of the ground, wings and VIP respectively.
The charges were reviewed upwards from $3, $5 and $10 correspondingly.
Impeccable sources said for their debut use of Hartsfield ground on Thursday, Highlanders successfully negotiated to pay the owners of the stadium, Matabeleland Rugby Football Association, a flat fee ofA� $1 500.
Judging from Highlandera��s home matches attendances, the figure charged by the Matabeleland Rugby Football Club might be far below the 20 percent that the Bulawayo City Council asks from the gross money that Bosso usually makes when they host matches at Barbourfields Stadium.
a�?I can say our move from Barbourfields Stadium to Hartsfield, is a big relief on the 20 percent deduction that is done by the city council. For the use of Hartsfield, we negotiated to pay a flat $1 500,a�? said Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede who, however, acknowledged that Hartsfield Stadium was small and has a lot of security problems.
a�?We are happy that we did not relocate to outside town but Hartsfield is a small ground with a lot of security problems. We might be forced to hire more policemen and our financial gains will also depend on the number of people who will come to the stadium,a�? said Gumede prior to his cluba��s game against Harare City.
B-Metro Sport is reliable informed that Bantu Rovers and How Mine, who also used Hartsfield ground as their home ground on Wednesday when they played against Harare City and Buffaloes respectively, were charged a flat fee of $600 by Matabeleland Rugby Football Association.
Bantu Rovers and How Mine used Luveve Stadium is their home ground.
Gumede, a veteran football administrator, is on record saying deductions from revenue generated on the turnstiles is gobbled by levies and charges, leaving the teams with no money to run the clubs.