Last night’s all important clash between heated rivals the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs had it all. Brilliant tries, try saving tackles, sin binning, some huge hits …
It’s shame that thousands of people missed out on up to the entire first half of football due to horrible organisation and scheduling.
Anyone who has attended a game at Allianz Stadium featuring a big crowd will be able to relay horror stories about being caught in traffic.
The Moore Park precinct is possibly the worst for big game situations. The traffic moves slowly, multiple lanes merge into one, and the lights do not allow cars to get through.
Up to thirty minutes after kick off in last night’s game, social media was full of people blowing up about being stuck in traffic, some mentioned being caught for over two hours, for what should be a twenty minute drive.
To be honest, this was always likely to happen on a work night at a stadium where public transport is not ideal.
Anyone catching a train to ANZ Stadium can attest to how easy it is on an event night. Direct trains from central, or Lidcombe to the station, and then a five minute walk.
At Allianz, you have to get a train to central, then hop on a slow moving bus that drops you fifteen minutes away from the stadium.
Incredibly, some mentioned that certain car parks were closed for the fixture. Not full, but closed.
When I enquired to the Allianz official twitter account, they mentioned that all car parks owned by the Centennial Park Trust were full.
Why were all car parks available not in use? Did whoever made the decision to leave specific car parks closed, easing traffic congestion and enabling people to avoid heading to Fox Studios, not believe that there would be a big crowd for two traditional Sydney rivals?
Why did Channel 9 schedule, and as per their contract they, not the NRL schedule this game, a monster fixture in the city on a week night?
I an absolutely loathe to write anything negative about the game I love, but I’m yet to see one person talk positively about thousands of fans missing kick off for a marquee game due to bad decisions.
If Manly win on Saturday night, then the Roosters will again host the Bunnies in the first week of the finals.
I’m not sure how the finals work broadcast wise, but you can bet your bottom dollar Channel 9 will pick the likely rematch for Friday Night if they have any choice.
Hopefully for fans those making the decisions have a traffic plan in action before next Friday Night, or this may be another fixture that is overshadowed by frustrated would be patrons taking to social media to express said frustration.
How many fans were simply too fed up being caught in traffic and turned away from the game? I know of more than a few just in the people I interact with on social media.
When I contacted Allianz earlier in the season re a bad experience I had, where it took over an hour and a half to turn into the precinct, only to be told that all parking was full, the response I got was “you should have left earlier”.
I hope for the sake of fans, the NRL, Allianz, The SCG trust and local authorities offer up a little more in terms of a solution before it all happens again next Friday Night.