Absa Premiership

More Chiefs games at FNB

2014-07-15 22:00
FNB Stadium (File)

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs will host all 15 of their home Premiership games at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg for the upcoming 2014/15 season, Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) confirmed on Tuesday.

"Our relationship with Chiefs has grown and there's mutual respect, which has come out of the relationship over the last four years," SMSA chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar said.

"Kaizer Chiefs and ourselves negotiated in bringing another three matches of Kaizer Chiefs to the stadium, so now we have the rights to all 15 home (league) matches."

The Soweto club had previously held only 12 of their home games in Johannesburg, with the other three "home" fixtures played at alternate venues, such as the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

But according to Grobbelaar, Amakhosi have welcomed the decision to keep their fortress intact for the new league campaign, while also confirming that Chiefs would play all home-drawn cup fixtures at the iconic 90 000-seater arena.

"All their home matches will be held at the FNB Stadium, unless we have to move one or two of those fixtures due to pitch maintenance and pitch preparations," Grobbelaar said.

"We will, on behalf of the club, put an alternative venue arrangement in place.

"The pitch is a cold season pitch so we've got to do pre-season and spring treatments, impacting on our ability to host events, but we're pretty confident that we're going to see much more football at the FNB Stadium this time around."

Grobbelaar, however, did not rule out the possibility of denying Chiefs access to the famous ground, due to other commitments, such as hosting mega-music events, which drastically increase revenue for SMSA.

"Unfortunately our models rely on extra content as well, like what we do with the music shows," he said.

"We need four to five shows to turn the stadium into a sustainable venue. Unfortunately music shows only work in summer time, so we might have a situation where one or two of our scheduled fixtures might be impacted.

"But there Stadium Management will put in place an alternative venue."

Last year, FNB Stadium hosted the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Bieber and Metallica, while this year the stadium has already played host to international extreme sports act Nitro Circus Live in February, while American band Foo Fighters will entertain fans in December.

In March next year, British boy-band One Direction will play at shows at the venue.

Meanwhile, Grobbelaar revealed that the Premier Soccer League as well as SMSA had negotiated a revised fixture list for Chiefs, who would play fewer midweek games than in seasons past.

"We sat down with the clubs, we asked for better scheduling of the matches. When the first fixtures came out, of the Kaizer Chiefs' matches we had in excess of nine matches scheduled as weekday fixtures.

"We asked the Premier Soccer League, via the club, to change and alter that and we've reduced that now to about three or four.

"So we're going to see a bit more weekend matches, because we believe midweek matches that kick off at 7.30pm have an impact on attendance.

"It's providing a convenience factor as well, where spectators can actually get out to a stadium on a Saturday afternoon, compared to a Wednesday evening at 19:00."

FNB Stadium’s first major soccer match of the season sees Chiefs tackle Orlando Pirates in the Carling Cup on July 26, before Chiefs host Mpumalanga Black Aces in the opening round of the MTN8 on August 3.

The Premiership season kicks off the following week, but Chiefs will travel to Free State Stars and will have to wait until the following week for their first home game, against Moroka Swallows.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  johannesburg  |  soccer

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