SINGAPORE - The 28th SEA Games ended on Tuesday night but the closing ceremony left a sour note for some spectators who were unable to enter the National Stadium.
Several spectators, who despite having paid tickets, were informed that there was no space left in their allotted sections, which caused tensions to raise as queues built at several entry gates.
It is understood that the issue was partly caused by fans, upon entering but finding the stadium lights had gone dark in preparation for the ceremony, could not find their seats and instead loitered around the concourse area.
This caused a logjam at the gantries and forced many outside to move around to different gates hoping for shorter queues.
Said Pauline Sim, 38, who had rushed to the venue after work and arrived at 7.45pm with her husband Glenn and two children, aged three and six: "We took the escalator up to Gate 19 and there was a big crowd waiting. After 15 minutes, some volunteers told us to try our luck at Gate 16 instead but that was even worse.
"There were even a few angry people shouting at the volunteers, who to be honest, looked helpless. We decided to give it a final try and went to another gate and there were 50 people in front of us. At about 8.30pm we gave up and went for dinner instead.
"It's disappointing because we had tickets and wanted to bring our kids for the experience but that couldn't happen because of this."
The organising committee has since apologised in a statement on the SEA Games 2015 Facebook page.
It said: "We understand that there were spectators coming to the closing ceremony of the 28th SEA Games who were unable to be seated for the show.
"As a significant proportion of the spectators were at the gates just before the start of the ceremony, there was a need to adjust entry gates and seating arrangements to enable them to be seated as quickly as possible. Consequently, some gates had to be closed for safety reasons.
"The organising committee apologises for the inconvenience caused and disappointment of those affected. We will offer a full refund to anyone who had purchased a ticket and was unable to be seated. In addition, you will receive the supporters' medallion."
Those affected can furnish their details at https://feedback.sportsingapore.gov.sg/new_feedback.aspx or contact 1800 344-1177 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm).
This article was first published on June 16, 2015.
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