Jordaan sets sights on World Cup crowd of 3 million

2010-07-01 12:06

The World Cup could set a record for paid attendance, with 3 million fans expected to attend games, Local Organising Committee CEO Danny

Jordaan said today.

“With the quarterfinals, semifinals and final being played at the

biggest stadiums in the country, it is possible that we will top the 3 million

fan attendance mark after the final at Soccer City on July 11,” said

Jordaan.

Already, 2.69 million fans had paid to watch the first two rounds

of the global showpiece.

“I reckon there is a big possibility we will (break 3 million) for

the first time since the 1994 event in the United States.

“The signs are there. The South African fans have been superb. The

spirit inside the country has been one of the outstanding features of this World

Cup.”

Jordaan said attendance figures for fanparks worldwide were more

than 3 million.

So far, hundreds of millions of views worldwide had watched the

first two rounds live, giving South Africa incredible positive coverage.

He said foreign tourists had injected R6.5 billion into the economy

during the first two weeks of the World Cup.

It was hoped that figure would rise

to R9 billion by July 11, he said, adding that the number of tourists was higher

than expected.

“We had projected between 450 000 and 500 000 in 2004-07.

But the

world economic crisis in 2008 made us revise that figure to below 300 000.

We

are delighted to have attracted so many soccer tourists for the first two weeks

of the World Cup,” he said, explaining that 364 000 visitors had been recorded

in the first two weeks of the tournament.

Jordaan was also hoping that Ghana would break new frontiers and

become the first African country to reach the semifinals.

“We are hoping Ghana make history by becoming the first African

nation to qualify for the semifinals of the World Cup.

That would be the cherry

on top for Africa.”

Ghana, the last African country left in the tournament, play

Uruguay in the quarterfinals at Soccer City on Friday night.

Jordaan added: “For us the dream has come true and this event

hosted by South Africa has been an extraordinary success.”

He said South Africa had proved the naysayers wrong.

“There were plenty of doubters from the foreign media when we won

the right to host the 2010 event.

To their credit, those people have said sorry

and complimented the way we have run the tournament and the huge success of the

first World Cup in Africa.”

The people of South Africa were the winners, he said.

“The atmosphere in the country has been incredible and this has

been shown worldwide on television that we are a happy people despite the

problems we have overcome in the past.

“There is a positive energy in our country we need to harness and

maintain after the World Cup.”

Jordaan added that a World Cup hangover could be expected on July

12.

“For a while, we will be depressed. But we can hold our heads high

knowing we have surpassed all expectations.”



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