Fickle sportsfans and no excuse to party
December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
I believe myself to be a avid sportsfan, who enjoys more than just my team winning but the contest as a whole…but it seems I am not in the majority in South Africa. Let me explain: yesterday I we went to the final day of the Sevens at the beautiful Nelson Madela stadium. Now I have been to a couple of rugby Tests and some Curry Cup games at the stadium and the atmosphere, especially during the Trinations match in 2011, was amazing. But this was my first IRB Sevens tournament and from the party atmosphere I have seen on TV I was hoping for the same. There sure was a party but, wow, not a very big party at that. I felt the whole event was lost on the friendly city.
IRB Sevens is more than about the host team and its supporters but about the experience of high pace international rugby, combined with some blistering speed and skill… and lately the IPL type dancers or cheerleaders. You dress up in a theme, wear crazy outfits and have fun…and maybe watch a little bit of rugby in between. On a side note, the highlight or lowlight, depending on who’s view you take, was the slightly overweight gentleman in a Borat suit… not pretty and probably scaring for the young girls sitting close by.
I feel that these events are lost on the South African fans and also the administators. The IPL is a great example of getting an awesome atmospher and packed stadiums. In my opinion, packed stadiums make 90% of the atmosphere. The ticket prices are cheap in the IPL and everybody can afford a ticket…and that’s what you want. Especially if you are trying to bring the game to the masses. The unions and government keep talking about transformation and bringing rugby to the previously excluded groups. Then why, if you have such a great opportunity, do they make the tickets so expensive? Main stand R 350 pp and R 150 pp for the opposite side! R20 a beer, R 20 for some slap chips, R 15 for 500ml Coke, etc. Its a very expensive outing. Now according to my ave maths there were about 15 000 people on Sunday at ave spending of about R 250 pp to R 500 pp works out to about R 3.75 mil to 7.5 mil. Lower the ticket prices by R 100 ave (R 250 and R 100 pp), you almost double your attendance. People will still spend between R 250 to R 500 pp because they stay longer and have more fun. That raises your income to between R 7.5 mil and R 15 mil.
But the way it looked on Sunday, its was not the biggest party to come to PE! Not by a long shot!
What really bugged me even more than the high ticket prices was the fans. Now I am generalising but after the Blitz Boks lost to the All Blacks in the semi-FINAL (because it was more a final than the final, quality-wise) a large group of fans left. Most of the finals were played in front of crowds rivaling first session first day crowds, in other words, not may people. Even the Cup final was played infront of under 50% capacity crowd. It was only the Werstern Cape New Zealand branch (dont get me started on these ‘South Africans’…’brakets’ used becasue they are not really from South Africa, are they?) that made up the biggest part of the crowd…and those few hundred who were there for the party! How can we be so fickle that if we dont make the final we leave? What happened to the whole experience and party vibe and enjoying the spectical? The finals were very entertaining and the Blitz Bokke really showed that they were the second best team of the tournament, not the third best as the final results showed. New Zealand were the better team but only by a wisker, not the scoreline showed in the Cup final vs France. The 3rd-and-4th place game and the Cup final the ABs and Boks broke there opposition and was very one sided games.
I hope that if the IRB Seven does stay in PE the administators incharge of ticket prices will look for long term profits rather than short term profit that would probably be less that it possibly could be. And let there be a party! We can alway use another party…at cheaper prices please!