Johannesburg — Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) managing director Bertie Grobbelaar says the three Soweto giants could consider increasing ticket prices to cover some of the additional costs amid the opening of stadiums to 50% capacity.
After playing behind closed doors for two years due to the outbreak of Covid-19, fans are expected to return to domestic football, starting with the Nedbank Cup quarter-final tie between Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and SuperSport United on Friday night.
While all the tickets for this weekend’s action were capped at R40, there could be drastic changes going into the league matches from next week.
SMSA, which is responsible for the management of the FNB Stadium, Orlando Stadium, Rand Stadium and Dobsonville Stadium, says the Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Swallows FC could consider increasing ticket prices for their league matches until the end of the season.
“I don’t know the ticket prices yet. The clubs that I am dealing with are still in discussion to find a way (that will be suitable for everyone),” Grobbelaar told IOL Sport.
“If there’s an increased expenditure then costs need to balance that with your income. So, I’m waiting on the guidance of the club on the ticket prices.”
Asked whether that meant an increment in ticket prices, Grobbelaar said: “I think that might be a possibility.”
Despite the fact that there’ll be 50% fans allowed at the venue, the Covid-19 protocols — social distance, verification of the vaccine certification or negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours, and SASREA act regulations — still need to be adhered to, and this could be a factor that could lead to the spike in ticket prices.
“When you phoned me earlier, I was in a planning meeting, we are again amending some of our plans that will be ready by Monday where we’ll start doing the marketing and promotion of what we are planning to do,” Grobbelaar said.
“But it’s the additional layout of security. There’s a fine line to find the balancing act between costs and the ticket income. The cost increased a whole lot with the new requirements.
“I wouldn’t like to put numbers but stadiums differ with capacity. If you have a stadium with a 10 000 capacity, it differs from a 90 000 capacity stadium. It doesn’t only depend on the amount of the spectators, but the infrastructure, electricity and so forth.
“We also need additional security and fencing. So, the cost could increase by 30% compared to the normal ones.”
For this weekend, the PSL confirmed that they’ll be doing the medical verification process manually, although they’ve encouraged personnel from the Department of Health to erect the vaccination tents outside the stadium where supporters easily get the jab.
The manual verification process will mean that the supporters need to be early at the stadiums to avoid stampedes in turnstiles and delay of kick-off.
While most of the stadiums will be welcoming back the supporters for the first time, Loftus Versfeld, which is the home of champions Mamelodi Sundowns, know all about the hosting spectators under the new regulations. They are also the home to rugby franchise, the Bulls.
“Firstly, it has been a pleasure to witness the joy and excitement of spectators returning to watch sports after a period of two years without watching live matches,” the Blue Bulls Company chief commercial manager Stefan van der Merwe said.
“It is fulfilling to see fans, who have been starved of what they love, for the past couple of years, once again enjoying the experience of being back at stadiums.”