JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 06, Mvuzo Mbebe and Daki Nkanyane with supporters holding soccer match ticket during the Orange African Cup of Nations ticket price announcement press conference at SAFA House on September 06, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – It will cost you as little as R50 to watch the African Nations Cup next year. The 2013 local organising committee (LOC) on Thursday announced ticket pricing which should find acceptance among South Africans, with the most expensive group phase ticket for the continental tournament costing R70.

Amid fears that the tournament could fail to attract spectators, as was the case with this year’s event at Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the organisers have come up with various packages and incentives for fans eager to attend the games, which kick off on January 19 and run through to February 10.

Most likely to be appealing to South Africans is the fact that a single ticket would secure access to two group phase games. “One ticket will get you into two games because, for the group phase, we will be staging double headers except for the last games,” explained Mvuzo Mbebe, the LOC chief executive.

The LOC have set themselves a target of 500 000 tickets to be sold before the tournament starts, with Mbebe stating they projected to make up to R35-million from the ticket sales.

He also announced discounts for early birds who wish to purchase tickets without even knowing the exact finalists, who are only going to be decided next month ahead of the October 26 final draw in Durban.

“If you want to buy a R50 ticket early, before the final draw, you will get it for R40. These discounts will continue up to December, then normal pricing will commence,” Mbebe said.

Four venues – Mbombela, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg – will host the bulk of the 30 games, with the opening game and the final taking place at Joburg’s Soccer City.

But attending those opening and closing ceremonies will be a bit pricey, with the cheapest ticket setting you back R100. As hosts, Bafana Bafana will play in the opening match on January 19 against opponents to be decided only on October 26, with kick-off time being 6pm. Also on that day, Bafana’s fellow Group A opponents – also unknown at this stage as the qualifiers are yet to be determined – will battle it out at the same venue at 9pm.

According to the match schedule released yon Thursday, Bafana will then move to Durban for two clashes there, on January 23 and 27. Should they top their group, Gordon Igesund’s men would remain in the KwaZulu-Natal capital for a quarter-final against Group B runners-up on February 2. But should they come second, they will have to travel to Port Elizabeth for their quarter-final.

While each of the four group venues will host a quarter-final, Mbombela and Durban have been confirmed as hosts for the semi-finals on February 6, with PE taking the third-place playoff on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

Mbebe, meanwhile, stated the LOC would implement a security and transport strategy similar to that of the 2010 World Cup, with park-and-ride facilities for fans to get to the stadiums. He added they were still waiting for potential sponsors and government to confirm exact funding for the event.

Afcon 2013 Ticket pricing: Opening and closing ceremonies: from R100 to R200. Group phase: from R50 to R70. Quarter-finals: from R75 to R100. Semi-finals: from R100 to R140.

* Tickets to be sold at Spar outlets, and online (site yet to launch), from Sept 26. – The Star