Pirates hope to shine at night

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Orlando Pirates will play their league home games under floodlights in an effort to lure more people to the stadium to watch them in action.

"It is a well researched decision where a number of things were taken into consideration," said Floyd "Jomo" Mbele, Bucs' admini- stration executive.

"The challenge we were facing by playing our games during the day is that many people are no longer doing a five-day shift.

"There are more people in South Africa who are now working on Saturdays until 1pm or 5pm to augment their salaries.

"After knocking off at 1pm or 5pm, most of our people rush to the shopping malls to buy groceries, bus and train coupons as well as other family needs.

"Sundays are more reserved for church, funerals and other family commitments. We found that Saturday night games are good for us. Our research has indicated that in the past three to four years, we have been getting our biggest support during the night games."

Mbele said another reason for opting for night games was the presence of counter-attractions, especially when other Gauteng clubs are hosting games on the same day.

"There are times when we have two or three Premiership games in Gauteng, which is a bit problematic for ordinary soccer lovers.

"You have to remember that we have somebody here who may be a fan of another Gauteng club. When that club is not playing nearby, he will come and watch Pirates.

"The other challenge is that we are getting into summer where the days are very hot, usually 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. The nights are cooler, which is good for all."

Mbele added that if there was a clash with rugby at Ellis Park on Saturday, Pirates would move their game to Friday night.

Bucs host Bidvest Wits at Ellis Park this Friday in their first home league game.