English perspective on the match at King City
have been to many grounds with varying facilities, but have confined comparisons
to club grounds in Britain which occasionally host county matches, and also
with a recent rugby international in Markham, which drew a similar crowd
for a largely amateur and minority sport. It would be unfair to compare
with Lord's or similar grounds.
Car parking was easy (we arrived early) and cheap, but it was difficult getting away. Part of the reason was that the stewards were not up to the job in the morning, and some latecomers blocked up the only exits. I know that some who wanted to leave early had to wait for an hour or more to get out.
We were amazed that there was no admission charge. For a national authority staging one of the big matches of its season, with a large crowd, and when it has publicly stated that it is strapped for cash, this is incredible. We paid about $45 per ticket for the rugby a month before, and were not unhappy to do so. We willingly gave a decent donation when asked by the local president, but it's not the way to generate income.
Seating was almost non-existent, despite the fact that it would have been possible at the very least to move the small benches placed around other pitches to the main one. Was the hiring of temporary stands not considered?
People serving in the pavilion bar were clearly overwhelmed by the demand; another source of revenue lost.
For a crowd estimated at 2,000, one portaloo in addition to the cubicles in the pavilion were clearly inadequate.
The scoreboard which most people could see was not used; the one which few people could see, was. The result was that spectators were going on to the field of play to check the score. If any thought had been given to spectator needs, at least the tents could have been pitched elsewhere as they blocked out the view for many.
Despite all these criticisms, we were not put off, and enjoyed the game We were impressed with the standard of cricket in Canada, and shall watch your progress in the World Cup with added interest.
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