Slow ticket sales to Kaizer Chiefs vs Sundowns pre-season match

Denis Onyango,Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns and Leonardo Castro of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Denis Onyango,Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns and Leonardo Castro of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

There has been a lukewarm public reaction so far to the Shell Helix Ultra Cup pre-season match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns‚ with less than a third of the 94 000 tickets sold so far.

Tex Riba of Sail Rights Commercialisation‚ who are in charge of selling tickets‚ said 25 000 have been sold for the game at FNB Stadium on Saturday‚ July 21.

“Obviously with it being a World Cup year it has been challenging in terms of increasing the ticket sales.

"But currently if you look at hospitality and general access tickets combined we’ve sold 25 000‚” Riba said at a pre-match logistics press conference at FNB on Wednesday.

“We are looking at a final push after the World Cup final on Sunday‚ from Monday‚ to increase ticket sales.

“They will increase.

"The normal habit of the South African football supporter has shown that we always get an increase of ticket sales during the final week leading up to the game.”

Speculation has been that Chiefs’ inability to announce a new coach to replace Steve Komphela‚ who resigned in April‚ three weeks into their preseason might have affected ticket sales.

FNB’s new stadium manager‚ Bertie Grobbelaar‚ said that Stadium Management South Africa‚ who operate the venue‚ have put in place plans to avoid a repeat of traffic problems that surrounded Sundowns’ friendly against Barcelona in May.

“With the fact that you had paid-for parking tickets there was a backlog created at certain of the road entry points [for the Barcelona game]‚” Grobbelaar said.

“That created a huge traffic backlog‚ and there were some spectators who missed the game and turned around.

“That had to be addressed‚ and the first thing to do was to make available free parking.

“The next was an extensive think-tank between Stadium Management‚ the City of Johannesburg and the JMPD (Johannesburg Metro Police Department) to address issues‚ specifically with where the road closures and access to parking should be.

“It’s a joint effort now and I’m confident that it will be a much better experience this time around.

“But again‚ as JMPD alluded to‚ you can’t expect to enter the stadium driving in here 45 minutes before the game starts. Then there is going to be an issue and that’s got nothing to do with the planning.”

Gates for the 3pm game open at 11am.

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