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So Close, but change is coming, I hope. May 21, 2011

Posted by cmfry in Uncategorized.
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Cape Town Stadium from Signal Hill

Image via Wikipedia

So today was yet another momentous sporting day in Cape Town. Ajax Cape Town, playing the last game of the PSL 2010/2011 season, were 3 points away from winning the title, and were playing at the Cape Town Stadium. This game had even more importance, as the 2 powerhouses of South African Football, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, had a shot at winning the title, and were playing concurrently.

Now, admittedly, this was my very first trip to a local PSL game. And yes, it took nearly a year, but I finally made good on the promise I made to myself during the World Cup that I would go to a PSL game, and see if the product was worth the effort. I have to say that I’m glad I went!

The logistics of getting to the game was precisely as it was for the global showpiece. Even with the fact that there were only 40,000 tickets on sale (the stadium capacity is 60,000), the fan walk was in full swing. Although we didn’t take it this time, the reports were good. We took the MyCiti bus from the city centre to the stadium, and from the car to the seat took 15 minutes.  

With Ajax playing, there was a plethora of merchandise on hand, and for dirt cheap! And it is here where I must add something very important. Cape Town is also a rugby mad town. Newlands is the best supported venue in both the Super 15, and the Currie Cup. But the prices of the tickets, the merch and concession stand prices, and the logistics of getting to the game are far less world class than today’s game. Surely, it must be time for WP rugby to seriously consider a move to the 21st century. Imagine, guys, 60,000 people at R60 buying more stuff, shouting louder……..

But I digress. The game itself was a 2-half show indeed! Ajax took a 1-0 lead into the half, then managed to have a denfensive brain freeze to be 2-1 down until the 2nd last minute, when the equaliser was scored, so there was just enough time to bite off the last finger nail, as a win would’ve secured the title. Alas, it was not to be, as Orlando managed to win their game, and claim the title on goal difference! What a thriller of a final day! (English Premier League, eat your heart out!)

The bus ride back to the CBD was just like walking back to your car from Newlands after a WP loss. Suddenly everyone agrees that the keeper should’ve retired 10 years ago (Although this time, they were right. Hans Vonk made a howler that let them back in the game). The difference between the bus ride and the walk was that this time, we were in a world-class bus, using a top-notch, safe and free (on match days) transport system, whereas I would’ve been braving the winter weather on the walk through the Newlands streets. It’s clear that the Cape Town Stadium needs one of the city’s 2 top sporting teams to be an anchor tennant. I’m really hoping that one of them take the bait, as I would really enjoy another sporting day like today on a far more regular ocaasion, no matter the result.  

Here are some pics from inside the stadium, taken with my Samsung Galaxy.

Finally, for Natasha Fry, my wife, it was her first time to the Cape Town Stadium. She liked it! Special shout-out to my friends Vanessa Welby-Solomon and Futurecapetown for reaching out during the game and spreading the love.

Hopefully next time, the bus ride home would be a LOT more pleasant!

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