Where’s Phillip nowadays?

2010-09-19 18:00

Unlike other World Cup hosts South Africa is not yet experiencing improved attendance figures at domestic league matches.

Statistics indicate a general boom in attendance averages by about 3?000 in the season before the World Cup for previous hosts and that this remains constant after the event.

But South Africa recorded an increase of only about 200 spectators per game in the season leading to the World Cup kick-off.

After the first two rounds of matches of the 2010/2011 Absa Premiership season, local league matches recorded a disappointing dip in the average attendance figure (6?108) compared to last season’s 7?639.

This is in contrast to what transpired in Germany, South Korea and Japan after they hosted the World Cup.

The 2006/2007 German Bundesliga average attendance of 39?975 beat other top European leagues, including the English (34?400), Spanish (28?700), French (21?700) and Italian (19?200) leagues.

Though it’s still early days in the Absa Premiership PSL chief operations officer Ronnie Schloss remains optimistic.

“We are very buoyant about attendance this season. The first two rounds of league games were reasonably attended,” he says.

“We had 45?000 people at the double-header in Cape Town and (last) Wednesday we had a full house at the Maritzburg United-Kaizer Chiefs game.”

But Schloss admits figures were “slightly down inland” and that last Wednesday was worse.

Other factors that could have contributed to the diminishing figures include the recession and the 100% increase in ticket prices from R20 to R40.

Schloss says the size of local stadiums exaggerates the picture.

“If you have 10?000 people in a 60?000-seater stadium it looks empty. In England and Germany the stadiums are smaller.”

In contrast to league clashes, Schloss says cup games are being well attended.
In the league, though, two of the so-called big three – Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns – failed to attract decent crowds when they hosted their opening games.

Amakhosi pulled 8?000 supporters to the 25?000-seater Rand Stadium for their match against Golden Arrows.

Downs had 3?000 fans at Super Stadium against Moroka Swallows. They then had a crowd of about 1?000 against Platinum Stars at Royal Bafokeng.

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