Guest Blog: Prof. Patrick Omo-Osagie
The Super Four/Six is a very good football event/product, yet it is floundering in all the wrong directions. It is being played in the largest stadium (60000) in the country, in the least football loving city (Abuja), playing five games in eight days (per team), playing three games a day on a natural grass surface, an absolute guarantee the destruction of the grass for months to come.
In sport event management or production, the first consideration like in most other businesses is
location; in this case, the venue. The choice of Abuja and the national stadium was all wrong for this event. If you are looking to sell the game as the LMC have said they are doing, then these games should have been played in Lagos.
The LMC stands a better chance to sell the event to companies for promotional purposes. Why they chose Abuja is what we will not know, but from all indications, the desire of the LMC to have a reasonable crowd is not working.
If the LMC really wants to sell its product (the event), this one should have been staged in Lagos using the Agege and Campos Stadiums. Yes, I know both have artificial surfaces, but so do the majority of our league club stadiums. Had Lagos been chosen as the event venue, the LMC would have had an appreciable crowd for these games.
The present game schedule is also not how to sell an event. It is too loaded; three games a day. How many people can sit and watch three ninety minute games, almost seven hours of time? I know this was not the usual format, but the LMC could have adjusted the format with spectators in mind. The six teams placed in pool A and B, with the national teams heading both pools.
The league winner, Kano pillars and Warri Wolves in pool A; Pool B will be Eyinba and Dolphins. Play a round robin in the pool and then go to 1A versus 1B, 2A V 2B, you get the drift; in the end every team gets to play three games instead of the five. The five in eight days leads to diminishing returns and injuries and the teams loose the entire essence of the event.
The LMC should always find and hire a person that can create, promote and execute an event; they are called sport event managers.
I know a little about playing surfaces, and I know that the Abuja stadium is natural grass. The stadium was re-grassed a few years ago with a lot of money; playing three games a day and fifteen games in eight days will not be very good for the grass. That field will be torn to shreds by the time the event is over and it might need some extensive work and money to make it playable in a few months.
Let me say this, I am not a critique of this event, I am only offering unsolicited ‘free’ advice. And as we all know, you don’t need to take the advice but consider it for a next time.
Good Luck next time.