The Moses Mabhida Stadium will be the central attraction point of South African football when it stages the Telkom Knockout final next week.
The venue will enhance its already glowing reputation as the country’s premier stadium of choice by staging the eighth out of 17 post-2010 World Cup finals under the Premier Soccer League (PSL) banner on Reconciliation Day (December 16).
An expected crowd of 53,357 are expected to watch reigning Absa Premiership champions Kaizer Chiefs take on current Nedbank Cup holders Mamelodi Sundowns.
The ‘Sold Out’ signs for the game were put up within three hours of being made available as fans scampered to get hold of the opportunity to witness what many people deem a dream final between two of the country’s most glamorous clubs.
The last time tickets sold so quickly was for the MTN8 final between Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the same venue last year.
“Just like how we were sold out for the MTN8 final, we sold out in almost the same way,” stadium manager, Vusi Mazibuko, said. “There is not a single seat available, whether it is suites or corporate areas or seats sold to the general public.
Mazibuko revealed that they were completely ready for the big wave that was about sweep the city. Durban will not only be popular for the game, but the east coast is generally a bed of activity during December when the summer school holidays bring with it thousands of visitors.
“There is a huge buzz about the game and the excitement is visible all around, Mazibuko stated. “Given that the game will be played on a holiday, there are many, many outsiders that we are expecting too because they will be holidaying in our city. That has built into the excitement.
“We are ready and look forward to it.”
Mazibuko explained that security will be at the same level it was for the “incident free” MTN8 showpiece last year, while he confirmed that the pitch was at its best, considering there has been no regular football at the stadium this season.
But he warned fans to play their part by arriving early for the 18h00 kick-off clash.
“People are encouraged to get to the stadium on time because we will be having additional security check points,” Mazibuko added. “So this is a warning to fans that if you are not in the stadium or getting in two hours before the game, there is a chance you may a good portion of the game.
“It’s as simple as that. There are three ticket checkpoints, so you need to be early to get through all of them timeously.
“This is because there is going to be traffic given the number of tickets sold. Then there is the holidays to factor in and fans need to realise that people will be heading home from the beach.
“It must also be noted that there are many beachfront road closures in Durban at this time of the year, so people need to be early. That is our main message to them.”
Mazibuko said there would be plenty of entertainment for fans to soak in once inside the precinct of the stadium.
“We will make sure there is entertainment at the stadium to keep them busy,” he concluded. “We have retail shops on the site and there will also be pre-match on-field entertainment.
“So if you come early, it’s not like you’ll be looking at the beautiful seats and the beautiful stadium, there will be entertainment.”
Meanwhile, PSL acting chief executive, Mato Madlala, has cautioned desperate fans against trying to get into the stadium using fraudulent tickets.
“Through our cooperation with the South African Police Service and other security service providers, we will adopt a zero tolerance to fraudulent tickets,” she said. “We urge our people not to purchase tickets from the black market.”