After seeing the empty shops in Fremantle yesterday I wondered whether it was just that everyone was at the cricket.
So here I am today at the WACA, on, the final day of a poised South Africa vs Australia test. All in the interests of research of course.
But this place is also strangely quiet, with empty seats everywhere.
Sadly the reasons why are all too apparent.
First is the $30 ticket price. That will help keep the crowds down.
Next is the bag search. I am not sure what they were looking for but I certainly got the impression that “bringing your own” wasn’t going to work.
And leave the camera behind too- a chap behind us was getting the 3rd degree over the length of his lens.
Finally a chap over there on the grassy bank got asked to take his bag to be checked at the gate after a remote security guard apparently saw him take a drink from something inside his bag. The remote guard was on radio to a local guard who clearly didn’t think that the action was warranted, but went ahead and followed orders.
The collective effect is a sterile experience at the ground. It’s a nice day in the sun, but passionless and bloody expensive.
And it’s reminiscent of the West Indian debacle of a world cup, where the passion was perverted by Western event organizers and sponsors.
Sports stadiums are like airplanes- if the seats are not used then they are lost forever. So organisers should price them so that they all sell. You’ll make more money on concessions as well.
But there is an even bigger impact- people that come to matches will contribute to the overall success of the sport versus other pastimes. Empty seats mean those potential fans are off doing other things- probably reading blogs.
It’s not like it used to be, and that is cricket’s loss.
An update. No cricket bats or balls allowed inside, and certainly no hordes of kids playing in the outfield. So so lame.