Fan parks: jam-packed opening

2010-06-16 00:00

PUBLIC viewing areas (PVAs) around the country, and in KwaZulu-Natal in particular, have roundly beaten expectations of attendance in the early stages of the World Cup, according to statistics released by Boxer Superstores.

The supermarket group, owned by Pick n Pay Holdings Ltd, partnered with several municipalities in organising 18 PVAs around the country.

Boxer Superstores, releasing attendance figures at the 18 PVAs for the opening World Cup match between South Africa and Mexico, said in a statement it had estimated that around 90 000 people would attend the fan parks.

However, the figure increased by more than 228% on June 11 as 204 485 football fans attended the 18 venues, 10 of which are in Kwa­Zulu-Natal.

The Sedinberg (Gauteng) and Tzaneen (Limpopo) PVAs were the two busiest on the day, with 24 000 people attending each one.

Torrential rainstorms in the Eastern Cape meant that the province’s Idutywa PVA was the least attended, with only 1 164 football fans making their way through the gates.

Pietermaritzburg’s Durban University of Technology PVA in Indumiso was well supported with a recorded audience of 9 608.

The PVA initiative is known as the “Boxer Superstores World Cup Diski Imbizos” and aims to provide football fans who can’t make it to the stadiums with an attainable option.

Boxer Superstores have funded most of the operational costs of the 18 PVAs, with local municipalities providing the venues and the catering services.

Andrew Mills, marketing director of Boxer Superstores, highlighted the impressive role of the KZN government in the initiative.

“When we first created the World Cup Diski Imbizos we had underestimated the overwhelming support and excitement this project would generate from the municipalities and provincial governments throughout the country,” he said

“Going forward, we now have 18 public viewing areas, 10 of which are in KZN, because of a shared dedication to providing all South Africans with access to this important time in our country’s history.”

The attendance figures for Day 1 of the World Cup at the 18 PVAs:

Stanger 7 000; Port Shepstone 11 000; Mtubatuba 8 062; Greytown 5 400; Ladysmith15 000; eSikhawini 15 000; Newcastle 5 900; Tzaneen (Limpopo) 24 000; Welkom (Free State) 4 733; Sedibeng (Gauteng) 24 000; Giyani (Limpopo) 21 010; Thulamahashe (Mpumalanga) 14 472; Kamaqhekeza 8 000; Idutywa (E. Cape) 1 164; Kokstad 8 000; Pietermaritzburg 9 608; Ulundi 5 329; Mafikeng (North-West province) 16 807.

Total: 204 485.

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