ticket sales slow

TICKET sales for the opening match of the Vodacom Challenge in Polokwane are selling at a snail's pace, but the organisers are still positive they will have a sold-out match on Saturday.

TICKET sales for the opening match of the Vodacom Challenge in Polokwane are selling at a snail's pace, but the organisers are still positive they will have a sold-out match on Saturday.

The organisers revealed to Sowetan last night that they had only sold about 3500 tickets in two weeks.

The match, which pits Orlando Pirates against free-spending English Premiership club Manchester City, takes place at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The venue accommodates 18000 people and the organisers of this prestigious off-season tournament will have to boost their marketing to get a full house on the day.

The tournament's executive promoter Augustine Nethononda yesterday attributed the slow sale of the tickets to some operational glitches at the Computicket outlets in Polokwane.

"The Computicket outlets at Shoprite-Checkers stores in Polokwane were down last week and we managed to fix them on Friday. This is because they (the outlets) are hardly used in that area and they could not cope with the demand for the tickets," argued Nethononda.

"But I can tell you that we had a growth of 72 percent in ticket sales between Friday and yesterday (Monday) and that is why I'm positive we will get a full house on Saturday."

Nethononda also blamed the slow sales on the culture of buying tickets late .

People are urged to come to the stadium early and gates will open at 11am. The first 1000 people to enter the stadium will be given djembe drums. The combination of these drums, which originate from Mali, and the vuvuzela will surely make for a great vibe at the stadium.

Nethononda also revealed that there would be musical entertainment on the day, including traditional dancers from the province.

Mark Hughes's City are expected to arrive at the OR International Airport tomorrow morning where they board a chartered plane to Polokwane.

The Sky Blues meet Kaizer Chiefs in the second match in Durban on July 21, before Amakhosi face Bucs in Port Elizabeth two days later in the third match. The final will be played in Pretoria on July 25.

Pirates will showcase their new recruits on Saturday, who include attacking midfielder Gert Schalkwyk and forward Ndumiso Mabena.

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