THE Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee apologises for the inconvenience caused and disappointment of those who went to the National Stadium and were unable to attend the closing ceremony of the 28th SEA Games on Tuesday ("Why were ticket holders denied entry?" by Mr Adrian Ho Kok Wai, and "Ticket holders given the runaround, denied entry" by Ms Yan Liping; Forum Online, both published yesterday).
There have been queries on whether tickets for the evening were oversold.
Based on the experience at the opening ceremony, where about 30 per cent of ticket holders were "no shows", we had invited Team Nila volunteers and voluntary welfare organisations to the closing ceremony.
After accounting for these complimentary tickets, there were still sufficient seats in the stadium for all those who went for the event.
In fact, the number of people who arrived and entered the stadium could have been accommodated if we had more time to seat them at the various levels.
But the crowds built up over a short period just prior to the commencement of the ceremony.
The nature of the event, which employed dimmer show lighting, also made it difficult to direct the guests past the gates and to the remaining pockets of seats around the stadium.
All this created a build-up at the inner concourse of the stadium and raised concerns for safety. This resulted in a need to restrict further entry from the gates until it was safe to do so.
There are some very clear lessons to be drawn from this experience that did not surface during the opening ceremony, like how to have better informed everyone on arrival timings; and how to better manage the rapid build-up of crowds and the ushering at entry gates.
We acknowledge that we should have done a lot better.
We are reaching out to all affected guests, and assisting them on refund matters and providing them with the supporters' medallion.
Please contact us on https://feedback.sportsingapore.gov.sg/new_feedback.aspx or 1800-344-1177 during office hours (Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm).
We thank everyone for their support and feedback as we continue to learn from the experience.
Toh Boon Yi
Community and Corporate Outreach
Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee