Chiefs lift jumbo name

Amakhosi bringing home games to Durban a boon for stadium

06 December 2017 - 06:54 By MARC STRYDOM
Moses Mabhida Stadium. File photo.
Moses Mabhida Stadium. File photo.
Image: Jackie Clausen

By playing their home matches in Durban this season Kaizer Chiefs have consigned Moses Mabhida Stadium's white elephant status to the rubbish heap.

Amakhosi used Cape Town as an alternative venue last season and were on the lookout for a new venue this season.

Durban has not had to fork out a big payment - cities have paid as much as a R1-million appearance fee per game - to bring Chiefs to the 56000-seater Moses Mabhida.

The city pays some of the operational costs of Chiefs' matches at Moses Mabhida and ticket sales are shared.

AmaZulu used to be the anchor tenant at Moses Mabhida before their relegation from the Premier Soccer League in 2015.

However, when Usuthu bought their way back into the Premier Soccer League they chose the smaller King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi as their home ground.

Durban's other team, Lamontville Golden Arrows, use Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu as their home base.

"AmaZulu were failing to fill the stadium and Chiefs were looking for a home outside Johannesburg," said the DA's KwaZulu-Natal leader, Zwakele Mncwango.

If there is a decent crowd for a game, the city can come out about even in revenue.

Crowds, however, have been mixed, possibly due to Chiefs' somewhat unconvincing form in the 2017-2018 season.

About 40000 fans watched Amakhosi lose 1-0 to Supersport United in the MTN8 in their opening game of the season at Moses Mabhida.

About 20000 were there for the Soweto team's 3-0 Telkom Knockout win against AmaZulu on October 28 and about 11000 watched their 1-1 league draw against Free State Stars on November 25.

Chiefs will play twice more at Moses Mabhida this season - against Ajax Cape Town on December 16 and Bloemfontein Celtic on February 24.

Chiefs corporate communications manager Vina Maphosa said the club played home matches in cities outside Johannesburg each season because Amakhosi were aware of their immense countrywide support.

"You will remember we used Polokwane for a few years, then Cape Town, and now it's Durban," Maphosa said.

"It doesn't affect the team adversely as the fixtures are decided before the season starts, and the trips are planned and prepared for."

Moses Mabhida Stadium's general manager, Vusi Mazibuko, could not be reached for comment.