Stadiums need crowds, says Safa CEO

2012-07-12 09:49

South Africans must watch less TV and more live events so stadiums used for the 2010 Fifa World Cup do not become white elephants, SA Football Association (Safa) CEO Robin Petersen has said.

“We’ve got so much football on television that people’s lifestyles have changed,” Petersen said at The New Age business briefing in Sandton.

“People prefer to sit back and change the channel between two or three matches, rather than going to the games, so we need to change our lifestyle.”

Cape Town Stadium, which was controversially not awarded matches for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament, is considered among the facilities not being used to its full advantage.

Cosatu’s Western Cape region called earlier this month for the stadium to be converted into low-cost housing, with Western Province Rugby reluctant to move from Newlands to the newly built complex.

While some stadiums did not have resident sports teams, Petersen said the multimillion-rand facilities could be used for other events, such as live concerts.

People, however, were not turning up in numbers to support events and Petersen believed that was the major concern.

“If they bring rugby to Cape Town Stadium, which is the plan, it will do very well.

“Soccer City (in Johannesburg) and the (Peter Mokaba) stadium in Polokwane are doing fine, but it’s not about holding more events, it’s about drawing the crowds.”

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