Goal.com may have stumbled upon another reason why certain stadiums, or at least the Rustenburg one, is often so empty at the start of each game…While getting to today’s match at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Goal.com reporter Peter Pedroncelli was stuck in a great deal of traffic, and sitting in his car, knowing that he would be parking quite close to the stadium, he was relaxed in the knowledge that he would make it to the ground in time for kick-off.
But what about the countless South African fans waving flags and walking by, with the stadium still ten kilometres away? But then the park and ride facilities came to mind, and he noticed that one of those facilities was only a kilometre away.
He decided to take a detour to check one of them out, and that would be the start of this article. Driving into the entrance of Olympia Park Stadium, used for one of the park and ride services where ticket holders are bused free of charge to and from the stadium, I noticed a horrifying site.
With only an hour to go before the game was due to begin, at least 6,000 people were in huge swarms, rather than lines, waiting for the buses to take them to the stadium. The massive congestion had caused a backlog of commuters and buses, causing the bitter realisation that most of those fans would not make it to the ground in time for the game, or perhaps even the second half.
If this was the case at one of the park and ride facilities, it could be the same at the other three, meaning that tens of thousands of fans could be stranded while awaiting their transport to the game. Latecomers, or those unable to leave work early to travel to a game, would inevitably be left in this circumstance.
It is a pity, but the fact is that early kick-off times, coupled with the incredible demand to get to the stadium via the much publicised park and ride facilities, mean that many fans will not get to the stadium, as is the case in Rustenburg today.
Tomorrow Goal.com will test the park and ride facility in Johannesburg for the Ellis Park Stadium transport route; watch this space.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com