Sundowns vs Chiefs pre-season match ticket sales still struggling
Fans have still not shown great interest in the pre-season match involving Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday with less than half of the tickets put on sale sold so far.
Tex Riba of Sail Rights Commercialisation‚ the company in charge of selling tickets for the match‚ revealed that just over 36‚000 tickets have been sold by Thursday for the inaugural Shell Helix Ultra Cup between Chiefs and Sundowns at the 94‚000 capacity venue in Soweto‚ south of Johannesburg.
“We’ve sold about 36‚000 tickets so far‚” Tiba told TimesLIVE on Thursday.
“But we’re fairly confident that the sales will improve a great deal a day before the match on Friday and on match day on Saturday morning.”
Kickoff is at 3pm.
It is an embarrassing figure for the organizers given that local fans have been starved off domestic football since May‚ but Riba believes there will be a last-minute gush for tickets.
“The normal habit of the South African football supporter has shown that we always get an increase of ticket sales during the final week leading up to the game.
"We’re confident the sales will improve.
“We’ll be disappointed if we don’t sell more than 50‚000 tickets for this match. But 36‚000 is not bad at this stage‚” said Riba.
“Remember the match in January involving Chiefs and Sundowns at FNB Stadium? We had not reached the 36‚000 mark at this stage of the lead-up to the match but we saw a real final push on the day before the match.
"The ticket sales will improve‚” said Riba.
The match offers both sets of fans an opportunity to see the clubs parade their new marquee signings.
Chiefs’ newly signed star forward Khama Billiat will face off against opponents he used to call teammates just a month ago before his move from Sundowns‚ who themselves are expected to have Andile Jali anchoring their midfield.
Both teams go into the match on the back of contrasting moods with Chiefs having lifted the Maize Cup over the weekend‚ while Sundowns are still smarting from a shock defeat away at AS Togo-Port in the Caf Champions League on Tuesday to leave them bottom of their group after three matches.
It will be interesting to see what kind of team Pitso Mosimane picks for the Chiefs match considering that Sundowns play a must-win Champions League return match against AS Togo-Port six days later in Atteridgeville.