Soweto derby ticket prices a daylight robbery
Doubling price same as racketeering
The famed Soweto derby yesterday, featuring Mzansi football giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs made the home team a few bob richer, as usual.
About 90 000 spectators made their way to the FNB Stadium to witness which of the two sides walks away with the bragging rights of having won the first Soweto derby of the 2018/19 season. But what has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many a Bucs and Amakhosi supporters is the issue of the hiking of ticket prices for matches of this magnitude.
Remember, the sold-out sign was put up a week-and-a-half before yesterday’s Premiership match – a match with nothing else at stake but bragging rights and three points for the winners. It has become a norm for PSL’s so-called big clubs to cash-in on derbies, or any “Category A” match.
This scam is to the disservice of poor supporters who must wait for pay day to purchase the R80 hiked ticket. And clubs have aggressively defended the decision to hike ticket prices from R40 to R80.
We’ve heard that the R80 selling price is “reasonable as we have to cover costs”. What costs? Bringing in musicians and DJs? Fans haven’t asked for entertainment, for Pete’s sake. All they want is to see is their football stars in action.
Worse still, this is a fixtured league game and doesn’t measure in comparison to maybe hosting Barcelona, Manchester City or Juventus, where financial muscle and logistics acumen is required.
Granted, the Soweto derby is the biggest football match in this country, it certainly brings smiles to the victors and tears to losers, in equal measure, around South Africa. It is the only sporting event in SA that usually manages to fill up the more than 90 000-seater FNB Stadium.
But for a game that normally costs an affordable R40 to watch, why the dishonesty of doubling the price? The home team has cashed in, in what I regard as daylight robbery tantamount to racketeering.
The biggest losers are the supporters who were unable to purchase tickets on time either because they didn’t have money or the tickets are way too steep for their not-so-deep pockets.
Elsewhere in the world, derby tickets cost the same as any other league game, and fans don’t have to worry about going out to buy bumped-up tickets as they are season ticket holders.
Hell no, not in Mzansi, where bumping-up of ticket prices is a regular feature in the PSL. Has Safa, as custodians of football, agreed to this scam? Has the move been sanctioned by the PSL board of governors? And who constitutes the board by the way? Just asking.
The Soweto derby is a joyous event for soccer fans of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs always pack the stadium.