There are many futsal courts for a district with low population
Futsal turfs, or mini-football grounds, are gaining the interests of sports enthusiasts in Punakha district but with too many futsal turfs, the business, once seen as a lucrative is dying with few games being played in a day or sometimes the turf remaining empty.
Futsal has become a convenient sport for football enthusiasts especially among the youth in the district due to lack of recreational facilities but for about 28,740 population, the district has seven functional futsal court and three yet to start the business.
The futsal trend picked up in the Punakha district when the first futsal turf was completed but today the scenario is different with many of the turfs remaining empty. The futsal turfs are scattered in different locations of Punakha district from Lobesa to Khuruthang town and then to Changyuel. It is played seven-a-side or sometimes five.
Talking to Business Bhutan, Sigay who owns the Sigay Futsal in Lobesa said, “In the beginning when I started the business there were many people booking for the turf but today with the increasing number of turfs in the district, not many come to play. Sometimes the turf remains empty,”
She said the futsal business in the district would fail because many turfs are being constructed, while the population is low in Lobesa.
Sigay started her futsal business in 2021 and the timing for the game begins depending on the convenience of the players but most of the time they game begins from 6 PM and continues till 11 PM. For every game which last for an hour, she charges Nu.1500 at night and Nu.1200 during the day.
Today there are two futsal turf in Lobesa.
Kinley Rabgay, 29-year-old opened his futsal turf on July 2, 2022 and despite being located at a prime location in Changuyel, about five mintues drive from Mochhu parking, sails in the same boat as the other futsal business owners.
“I started my business with my target focused on the students, people (men) working in the resorts and monks but with the exams approaching the students are busy studying and people working in the resorts are busy with the arrival of tourists while it is only the monks for now booking the turf with few civil servants,” said Kinley Rabgay.
He said although the business is not as good as expected, he has expectations that in the long run there will be changes despite the population and growing numbers of futsal turfs. For now he is not making any profit.
With more grounds, the business is getting competitive. However, the owners are improving services. For instances, Sigay futsal in Lobesa has a swimming pool, hot stone bath, cafeteria and boating facilities along with the futsal ground. The story is similar with other futsal business owners.
Chencho Dema from Punakha