Why are crowds generally so small? Pirates versus Sundown’s at Orlando Stadium was a full house, why doesn’t it happen all the time and why was this game such an exception?
Orlando Pirates FC Super-Fan Dejan Miladinovic asks us to take the following factors into consideration:
COVID 19 and how it’s impacted our economy, society, causing job losses, people are still struggling to find new work, and cannot be blamed for wanting to save every cent, just so that they can eat and live.
“Pirates fans don’t like it when the team loses games, when the current technical team was newly announced, Pirates fans put their full trust in them, but after inconsistent results, again they have begun losing hope and started staying away again.”
“Whether we admit it or not, soccer in S.A is still very much largely supported by a majority of poor people, this is why other sporting codes are recovering faster (from the effects of Covid 19) in terms of support at their matches while the soccer fan is still struggling to cope with the current economic situation.”
Dejan believes there is hope, and that there are already a few Soweto Derbies coming up, not too far, these will most probably be packed to capacity and hopefully help encourage fans to attend matches again, with the MTN 8 Second Leg games , and irrespective of which teams make this year’s final, will also probably sell out, this might all prove to be the catalyst towards an improvement in attendance, both in the short term, as well as in the long term.
This time we pose the question to Ismail Harris, a Cape Town resident and huge literally and figuratively Cape Town City FC supporter.
“Once again, the one aspect would be security, we also only have full house games when City plays against Chiefs or Pirates.”
“The other aspect is ticket prices, the stadiums are far from the loyal supporters, it’s quite pricey to watch a live game, hence fans mostly attend the so-called bigger games. Season tickets are available, but most fans can’t afford to pay the entire R500 in one go. If I do a rough calculation, it would cost me roughly R400 to watch a match live after travel costs and including buying a burger at the match, which is why I’d rather watch on television or follow via social media.”
“In the late 80’s and 90’s we complained about the security issues, and weed smoking inside stadiums, not much has improved, yes, we have fancy stadiums now, since having hosted the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, but we still sit with the same problems, and I think alot of it has to do with clubs not owning the stadiums.”
“We’re dependent on the City of Cape Town , who unfortunately don’t view football in the same light as they do Rugby and Cricket. Let’s see what happens this season, as Cape Town Stadium is now the home of Western Province/Stormers Rugby Union, it means that if we host Chiefs, and Stormers also host a game on the same day, we will have to play at Athlone Stadium.”
“In my first season as a brand ambassador for City, I lost so much money, yet it did it out of love for both the game and the team. But what really got to me afterwards, is how they handed out free merchandise to already rich celebrities who could afford them anyway, while all we got was a slight discount offer on the same items. Honestly, if the Somalis had to do a Cape Town City FC jersey, I would rather buy it from them, than the club itself.”
“I used to follow Bidvest Wits on social media, they were always doing something for their fans, even if it was small stuff, I know they handed flowers to the women on a women’s day match day. They had a special with pies, for fans, it might seem like little things but that would keep the fans coming back to games.”