Chaos at MCG as over 30,000 fans struggle to watch Big Bash League derby
The Melbourne Cricket Ground witnessed a tremendous turnout for the Big Bash League, resulting in over 30,000 fans still trying to make their way in when the first ball was bowled. A crowd of 80,883 people turned out to watch the Stars and Renegades duke it out. Turns out the organizers didn't anticipate the logistics of the scale of the event as many fans were left disappointed in their attempt to find their way inside on time.
The lines at the stadium were way longer than prudent. The line to enter stagnated, resulting in fans missing out on the action. “This MCG fence is absolutely ridiculous. Arrived almost an hour before the game and will miss the first ball. Surely there is a better way?” cricket fan Jake Bourke said.
It would have perhaps worked smoother if the officials had planned the logistics beforehand, anticipated the massive turnout and planned accordingly. “We were just lucky we didn’t have bags,” one spectator exclaimed. “We arrived with five minutes to go before the first ball and walked straight in at Gate 5, but those poor people who had to get bags checked were in a different line that was about 250m long.”
Imagine walking 250 meters at a snail’s pace, trudging along and hoping to find your seat. That agony is compounded manifold when you hear the cheers of the crowd inside. But things didn’t get easier when the fans finally managed to make their way inside either. “Now that we’re in, the line to get a drink or some food is 100m long. There aren’t enough food outlets open and nobody looks prepared for the huge crowd that has turned up.”
The Melbourne Cricket Club spokesman Shane Brown said “The crowd is much larger than we had expected and we’re dealing with it as best we can. We already have 50,000 people inside — we are moving people through as quickly as possible.” While 50,000 does sound like an impressive number, its magnitude is dwarfed by the fact that 50,000 inside still implied having roughly 40% of the crowd standing outside.
Here is a look at the scene from the eyes of the fans who were unfortunate enough to be stuck outside.
Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call and result in a more streamlined procedure of entry.