Tore Bobe's switch to e-ticketing system results in record-low attendance, raising questions about the transition's impact on fan turnout.
Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) side Shabana FC experienced their lowest attendance in history, despite their recent efforts to modernize their ticketing system.
The clash with KCB FC at Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay saw a meager 1,181 fans in attendance, marking a stark contrast to their previous successes since their promotion to the top-flight league after a 17-year hiatus.
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Regular tickets, reasonably priced at Ksh 100, managed to attract 738 supporters, generating a modest revenue of Ksh 73,800.
Meanwhile, the VIP section, with a higher ticket price of Ksh 300, welcomed 443 spectators, contributing Ksh 132,900 to the club's earnings.
In total, the gate collections amounted to a disappointing Ksh 206,700, a far cry from what the team had achieved in previous matches.
This unexpected decline in attendance left many scratching their heads, but sources from the club identified several factors that may have contributed to this dismal showing.
One of the most significant changes was the introduction of the e-ticketing system, which Shabana FC unveiled just a day before the match.
The e-ticketing system was designed to modernize the ticketing process, making it more convenient for fans while eliminating the need for long queues at the stadium.
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Shabana FC became only the second club in the top-flight league to adopt this cashless ticketing system, following in the footsteps of AFC Leopards.
However, it seems that the transition to e-ticketing may have posed challenges for some fans who were accustomed to traditional methods of purchasing tickets.
The sudden change, coupled with the short notice of its implementation, may have discouraged some supporters from attending the match.
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This theory is supported by the fact that the previous home match against Nzoia Sugar FC, where traditional ticketing methods were used, garnered gate collections totaling Ksh 302,500.
Despite the disappointing turnout, Shabana FC managed to make a memorable start to the game.
Brian Michira scored a stunning goal, thundering home a beauty after being set up by Justine Omwendo, sending the attending spectators into raptures.
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Mandela, who is seemingly starting to become a regular starter for Sundowns, did fairly okay although they were downed 1-0 by TP Mazembe on Saturday.
Their lead, however, was short-lived as KCB FC restored parity approximately 24 minutes later through the red-hot Francis Kahiro. Kahiro displayed his skill with a neat header into the back of the net after KCB had sustained pressure, marking his sixth goal of the season in the process.
Shabana FC's journey to modernize their ticketing system is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for the club and the league as a whole.
However, the unexpected dip in attendance for their match against KCB FC serves as a reminder that implementing such changes requires careful planning, communication, and consideration for the fans' preferences.