Tue | Oct 27, 2020

ISSA, stop inconveniencing your patrons

Published:Thursday | November 14, 2019 | 12:16 AM


I went to the final leg of the Manning Cup quarterfinals at Stadium East on Tuesday afternoon and was forced to leave within 15 minutes of entering the venue. When all the variables were considered, I am at a loss as to why this venue was selected by ISSA.

When you have the defending champions, Kingston College, and the school that has won Manning Cup the most times in the last 10 years, Jamaica College, on the cards, that is indeed a recipe for a large turnout. More so, this quarterfinal match was the determinant for the teams that would progress to the semi-finals, so the supporters would, more than likely, be out in their numbers to cheer on their teams.

Additionally, ISSA must have analysed the weather pattern that we have been having since the end of September and should have taken that into consideration – well, if they really cared about their patrons!

blocking the view

The venue was, as expected, oversold, and there was standing room only to the rails in front, blocking the view of the persons sitting especially on the lower tiers. This situation was a breeding ground for disrespect, and I really thought the cross-cursing would have soon escalated beyond cursing. It is unfair to the persons sitting to have their view blocked by those standing at the rails to the front; and those standing would, rightly so, be asking the question, where do they go after paying to watch the game?

Then the rains never disappoint, and the umbrellas went up. Those standing with their umbrellas opened overhead made it impossible for even more persons to see the game they had travelled – some from far – to watch. Many persons left the venue soaked to the skin.

Was there a correlation between revenue maximisation and the choice of venue? I believe that ISSA knows the schools that pull big crowds whenever their teams are in any sporting competition, and ISSA must plan accordingly. If the games were played at the stadium, the grandstand would have been almost filled to capacity. Many persons stayed away from Stadium East on Tuesday afternoon because they had foreseen the very issues that played out.

Come on, ISSA! You can surely treat your patrons better!

Pat Williams Bignall