Approximately 13 000 tickets have not been sold for the second Test between South Africa and Wales to be played here on Saturday.
Cobus Claassen writes in Beeld that rugby administrators are said to be concerned about the number of seats that may be empty when the match starts at Loftus Versfeld.
Only about 21 000 spectators watched the first Test in Bloemfontein last week and so far there has been little evidence of rugby fever in Pretoria.
Tickets cost between R250 and R400 and the Blue Bulls Company confirmed on Wednesday that about 13 000 remained unsold.
Andy Colquhoun, communications manager of SA Rugby, said the administrators were aware that tough economic conditions could have an influence on the attendance of matches.
Ideally, the Springboks should play in front of packed stands, and administrators were continuously looking at ways of making it easier for fans to attend Test matches, Colquhoun said.
Barend van Graan, chief executive of the Blue Bulls Company, pointed out that Wales never drew “full-house” crowds in South Africa. A total of 35 000 spectators was usually seen as a realistic target.
Van Graan appealed to the public to buy tickets and support the Springboks.
Colquhoun said South Africa’s first three Test matches of the season were usually against “smaller” rugby countries. “Traditionally they don’t fill stadiums,” he said.
The Three-Nations Tests against New Zealand and Australia would provide a better indication of what impact economic conditions may have on rugby fans,” he added.
Piet de Necker, commercial manager of the Free State Rugby Union, said they were disappointed with last week’s attendance.
“We would have liked to see a packed stadium but it is hard to say why the attendance was so poor.”
Unions paid a certain amount to host Test matches “and it seems as if this is becoming, more and more of a gamble,” he said, adding that it was too early to say whether the Free State had made a loss last week.Tweet