Big weekend for city as Maritzburg United take on Pirates

2014-04-30 00:00

ONE of the biggest matches in Maritzburg United’s history takes place at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night when the Team of Choice host Orlando Pirates in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup.

All 11 000 tickets are expected to be sold for the 8.15 pm kick-off, and whenever one of the country’s Soweto giants visit Pietermaritzburg, the atmosphere is memorable. With a place in the final of South Africa’s premier cup competition up for grabs, this weekend’s tie will be nothing short of sizzling.

As is the case with any game of this magnitude, security is a concern, but United’s media manager Brian Zuma said yesterday that plans were in place to ensure an entertaining and safe evening for the fans set to descend on Harry Gwala.

“We have engaged with the municipality and we have their full support,” Zuma said.

Meetings were taking place yesterday to determine where cars would be able to park in Alexandra Park, and the municipality was on board to ensure that the entire park was adequately lit. In addition, municipal security as well as police officers and traffic department officials would be deployed in and around the stadium on match day.

“It is important that we keep fans and their cars safe,” added Zuma.

The benefits to Pietermaritzburg were multiple, said Zuma. With a host of Pirates fans expected to make the trip to the Midlands from all corners of the country, the city’s hospitality industry is set to benefit from the fixture.

“People will not only be here for the match, but from Friday all the way through to Sunday,” explained Zuma. “The transportation industry — metred taxis etc — will also benefit as people like to leave their cars at home when they attend matches.”

Vendors selling food outside the stadium were also in line for a massive pay day, and Zuma gave the assurance that the quality of the food sold would be “acceptable”.

With the match televised on both SABC and SuperSport, Zuma confirmed that a combined viewership in excess of four million was expected. “A match of this stature enhances Pietermaritzburg as a city and as a brand,” he said. “The exposure that the city will get allows people to see its vibrancy and puts them in a position where they can consider investing in the city, and that is a good thing to have.”

As a show of goodwill to fans, the United management have made the 6 000 grandstand tickets (at R100 each) available for purchase at the club’s offices in Victoria Road, Supersave and at the OK Mini-Market in College Road.

“We want our own supporters to have first option on the tickets,” said Zuma. “We need them to support us in this match.” All other tickets are available at Computicket.

Ticket Information

R100 grandstand tickets — MUFC offices, Supersave Supermarket and OK Mini-Market in College Road.

R60 open stand tickets — MUFC offices, Supersave Supermarket, OK Mini-Market and Computicket

Corporate Suites — Club offices at R25 000 per suite.

For more information regarding the corporate suites, contact Brian Zuma on 081 375 2565.

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