PROPHET Walter Magaya has installed a “Director’s Box” at his Heart Stadium in Waterfalls, which allows corporate customers to buy seats and advertise their goods and services.
The box is a first for a football stadium in the country and forms part of Magaya’s efforts to commercialise the sport.
The stadium, which seats 5 000 spectators, was completed in just two months and has already been kitted out with compliant changing rooms, doping control and medical rooms, as well as a standard media tribune and disability areas.
If funds allow, the seating capacity could be raised to 15 000 next year.
Zimbabwe currently has no CAF-approved stadium to host international matches.
“We have come to the realisation that football is business, big business actually,” said Magaya.
“We have poured a lot of resources into this project and we are very happy that football and the country will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
“We have decided to install a Directors Box, which is strategically positioned. Corporates can buy seats for themselves and get to advertise their services and goods in this box.
“They can also network in this box and get to find out more about each other.
“The revenue realised from this aspect can be ploughed back into football so that the game realises its full potential.
“The football landscape is changing and this commercial route is particularly rewarding for the game.
“We are making a lot of innovations as we travel this journey. At the end of the day, football should be commercialised as is the case the world over,” he said.
Given the way it is structured; the Heart Stadium could be the nearest venue in this country to meet the CAF minimum requirements.
“We are very much willing to expand the capacity of the stadium if resources permit,” said Magaya.
“We have used a lot of resources to be where we are at the moment. We will strive to put in more in order to improve the capacity of the venue.
“The dream is to see international football being played at Heart Stadium. We are trying all we can to ensure the facility can meet minimum CAF requirements.” The Warriors will host Nigeria in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at Huye Stadium, Butare in Rwanda on November 19.
That will be four days after they play at the same venue against Rwanda in their opening qualifier.
Given that Huye Stadium only has a capacity of 10 000, there is every reason to be optimistic given where the Heart Stadium stands in terms of standards.