Only Private sports complex in Bhutan doing well

Tenzin Sports Complex (TSC) located in Serbithang is the only private sports complex in Bhutan so far. The sports complex opened to the public in August last year. The complex has an indoor FIFA certified futsal Astro turf costing USD 10,000 and it alone has been generating much income.

The proprietor of TSC, Kunzang Dorji Tenzin, said the idea of such a sports complex was not something new he had come up with.  “When I was working in a corporation, I wanted to build a sports arena. I resigned from the job, and found out that to get a loan for such a venture, the first thing the banks want to know is the source of income, not realizing that the whole idea of building a commercial sports complex is to create that source of income. Anyway, I then started in construction to create that source of income.”

Finally, Bank of Bhutan (BOB) agreed to finance the project in 2015.

TSC has been named after Kunzang Dorji Tenzin’s late father’s surname Tenzin. His late father had given him the land which was used in the project.

The income from the futsal turf varies from Nu 900,000 per month during the summer to Nu 300,000 per month in the winter. Each match on the turf is of 2 hours duration and costs Nu 4,000 on weekdays, whereas it cost Nu 4,500 on the weekends. Matches go on from 6 am in the morning to midnight during the weekends, while match usually begin from 4 pm till midnight during the weekdays. The matches are booked all throughout the year and it is difficult to book any time slots.

TSC plans to expand the facilities, like a basketball court, sports shop, cafeteria, gym, steam and sauna rooms, and it is expected to gain around Nu 1.5 mn per month.

Kunzang Dorji Tenzin his project had initially sounded ridiculous as sports was played for free in Bhutan. Secondly, the land was very marshy so the site development took more time than expected and even consumed huge amount of money.

TSC aims to promote football, healthy lifestyle and keep the youth engaged. “In the long run, we expect to be part of BFF and BOC as objective of all is to promote football and healthy lifestyle,” said the proprietor.

So far, TSC has given regular employment to 4 youth and about 5 freelance referees. During busy tournaments, TSC or the organizers employ about 10 youth. Referees are paid Nu 500 for each match they officiate.

TSC pays urban land taxes and other applicable taxes as it is under the city parameters, however, the condition of the road to the sports complex is in a pathetic state and dustbin collection has been erratic. “It’s difficult with lots of people turning up for games and whole places getting filled with water bottles and garbage.’’ Needless to say, poor road condition is also one of the complaints that clients make to TSC.

About Karma Chuki Namgyel

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