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Price hike for soccer fans

2010-07-21 08:27
Johannesburg - South African soccer fans will be expected to pay significantly more for their Premier Soccer League ticket this season, when attending a match at one of the country's World Cup stadiums.

Low ticket prices, as have been the norm in the past, wouldn't come close to covering the cost of maintaining the state of the art facilities, which would cost clubs in the region R500 000 a day to rent.

South African Football Association chief executive Leslie Sedibe told a parliamentary committee on sport and recreation on Tuesday that it is important for the development of the local game to raise the prices.

He said: "People need to understand ... we will have to revisit these issues around ticket prices if we are serious about development, because that is where the money is going to come from."

The South African government spent an estimated $1.3bn building and upgrading the 10 stadiums scattered around the country and are now frantically trying to find tenants to take them on.

Rugby and Cricket unions have been approached to switch their traditional home grounds for the new arenas but are reluctant to move as their current stadiums are far cheaper to maintain.

The Springboks have been scheduled to face New Zealand in a Tri-Nations encounter at Soccer City on August 21st while Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium will play host to a Twenty20 cricket match between South Africa and India at the beginning of 2011 but similar pay-days are not expected to prove as easy to book for the more stadiums of Rustenburg and Polokwane.

Graham Mackenzie, a member of parliament, speaking at Tuesday's meeting added that it is imperative for SAFA to meet with rugby and cricket bosses immediately.

"We have magnificent stadiums and at the moment they are ranked No. 1 in the world.

"If we engaged other sports, we can ensure we don't have a legacy of 'white elephants."

Even the wealthy Orlando Pirates and rivals Kaizer Chiefs have refused to move into Soccer City although Ajax Cape Town have reportedly shown an interest in taking up occupancy in the Mother City's impressive stadium. 

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