Many lose race for Champs tickets
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
MANY JAMAICANS left the ticket office at the National Stadium yesterday morning disappointed and disgruntled as their pursuit of grandstand tickets for the final day of the 100th staging of Champs proved futile.
Within half an hour of the opening of the ticket office, the 1,002 available grandstand final-day tickets were sold out.
Checks by The Gleaner revealed that not all of the persons who purchased the limited number of final-day grandstand tickets were legitimate prospective patrons, as a number of men who were seen milling around the ticket office had final-day grandstand tickets for sale. One man who spoke to The Gleaner on terms of anonymity disclosed that he was at the ticket office from 3:30 a.m. yesterday and, therefore, had a right to do his hustling. He had final-day grandstand tickets on offer for $3,500 as opposed to the original price of $2,500.
transparent sales process
President of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, Walton Small, however, pointed out that steps had been taken to ensure the sale of tickets was fair and transparent.
"This morning we made sure that we called the Fair Trading Commission, asked them to come and check off the tickets that we were selling," said Small. "We did not start selling before 10 o'clock, and nobody could purchase more than 10 tickets."
Small believes the problem has to do with the size of the stadium and is of the view that a new facility is needed.
"The problem is that the Government must get a new stadium. The grandstand holds under 4,000 persons; the population can't hold in there. No matter what we do, we cannot accommodate everybody. We need a new stadium and a better stadium. Until then, there is nothing we can do."