Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit is preparing to hosts its second major domestic final on Saturday and venue manager Roelf Kotze has revealed that the city is ready to welcome supporters from across the country for 2013 Telkom Knockout decider.
Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates are the two teams that will compete for the R4-million winners pot after beating Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United respectively in last month’s semi-finals.
The match in the Mpumalanga capital is expected to be a sell-out at the 2010 World Cup stadium, with Koetze confirming on Thursday morning that just under 10 percent of tickets were still available.
“We’ve sold just over 35,000 tickets already and we’re expecting a full stadium of 43,500 fans on Saturday,” he told PSL.co.za.
The ground, which hosted four matches during the global spectacle a little over three years ago, is also opening its doors for a second premier cup final having staged the Nedbank Cup final between Pirates and Black Leopards back in 2011, a match the Buccaneers won 3-1.
It also staged a Springbok test match earlier this year against Scotland and was one of five African Nations Cup venues when the competition was played in South Africa back in January.
But Kotze, stadium manager since the doors were opened back in October 2009, admits that Saturday’s final will be one of the biggest games at the venue.
“We had the Nedbank Cup final here in 2011 and we had a another big game in May, a league game when Chiefs were crowned champions,” he says. “It was the one where they were actually handed over the trophy, so there was big interest in that match.
“We also had a Springbok rugby test here also this year, but in terms of domestic football, it will be one of the biggest.”
On Wednesday, the venue also hosted Absa Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who played against hosts Mpumalanga Black Aces.
“There’s lot of excitement and we’re ready for the final,” Kotze said. “We had a game here on Wednesday and it just added to the buzz by putting us in the football mood.”
Cool conditions have been forecasted for matchday, although no rain is predicted.
Kotze added that the pitch was in perfect condition for a “free flowing” game.
“The pitch looks good and we can expect to see a good game,” he added. “Teams like to play on this pitch, it’s quick and it has a very even bounce.
“Coaches always say if you can’t play on this pitch then you can’t play football, so we like to believe it’s a very good nice pitch we have.”-www.psl.co.za