Some spectators who wanted to experience the 28th SEA Games closing ceremony on Tuesday night were left disappointed when they could not enter the National Stadium despite having tickets.
Media reports said spectators were shuffled from gate to gate in order to enter through a gate with less people.
Some were also told the stadium was full.
Photos on social media showed crowds of spectators stuck outside the National Stadium gates, waiting to enter.
Some also gave up and left after waiting until as late as 8.30pm to enter the Stadium. The pre-show segment began at 7pm.
Yahoo Singapore also spotted spectators coming in during the halfway point of the show and sitting on the stairs near the area with allocated seating for the media.
One frustrated spectator by the name of Puey Yee Tan wrote on the official SEA Games Facebook page, “Should we wait, should we go away? And nobody on the ground seems to know what is happening. I am appalled at this management. Opening Ceremony was hardly like this.”
Some also complained they did not receive the supporters’ medallion that was supposed to be in each fun pack, or that they were not given fun packs at all.
Media reports added that tensions flared and some spectators berated volunteers at the different gates.
“In the midst of all this, the organisers should also apologise to the young volunteers who had to take the brunt of the frustration from ticket holders for the series of decisions made by the organisers that led to this situation,” said Matthew Tan on the SEA Games’ official Facebook page.
The organising committee issued the following statement:
“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.”
It also offered a full refund to those who purchased a ticket and were unable to be seated, as well as the supporters’ medallion. Ticket holders who were affected should go to https://feedback.sportsingapore.gov.sg/new_feedback.aspx or contact 1800 344-1177 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm).