Sunday, May 18, 2014
Emir Cup 2014
A buddy of mine had some tickets to the Emir Cup last night so we went. Bearing in mind that stadium events have a tendency to close their gates early even if you have a ticket we got there shortly before 4pm. Turns out that was a bit too early, we probably could've got there at five and been fine.
By the time kickoff started the place was full (with the exception of a couple of areas near the seating where His Highness and other VVIPs would be), and even got to the point where some people wound up sitting on the stairs as there were no seats available. I guess they sold a few more tickets than there were seats.
When I went to get something to drink I could see that most of the gates were shut and a lot of people were still milling about outside. According to news reports it was just like I had expected -- the gates were shut and people weren't allowed in even if they had a ticket because the stadium was full.
Because the stadium was full the concession stands were completely overwhelmed, at least in the area I was sitting in. Crowds three or four deep pushing and shoving trying to buy something at the counter. No order to it at all, no queue. Supplies of some things ran low, I wanted to buy some water but the concession stand had run out. A manager then appeared with a couple of boxes of bottles of water and it was pandemonium with tons of people shouting and shoving to buy water. I decided fighting through the crowd was not worth it so just returned to my seat without a drink. Concession facilities could due to be expanded at Khalifa Stadium as it just doesn't appear to be able to cope with a full stadium.
Other than that it was a good game. I was rooting for Al Saad (I used to live near their stadium so they became “my team”) and they didn't disappoint, scoring three good goals. Al Saliya had a couple of opportunities, and a penalty shot, but couldn't capitalize on any of them and in the end the score was 3-0. Al Saad had been runners-up the previous two years so it was great that they won this year. His Highness was there to hand the trophy to the winning team. After giving them the trophy there was a fireworks show.
My friend and I then walked back over to Villagio to get something to eat and let the traffic disperse, something I always do after an event at Khalifa Stadium. After an hour or so we left the mall and everything traffic-wise was fine.
Congrats to Al Saad!