Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gulf Cup Tickets

We wanted to go to the opening game of the Gulf Cup. The tickets are exclusively sold at Omanoil petrol stations, but the stations aren't linked in any way to a central office so there was no way to know which station still had tickets. Every Omanoil station we went to was sold out. The news was that the tickets sold out. When we saw it on TV there were large sections of the stadium that were empty. What gives? Even Ali Al Habsi was complaining about it in his interview after the match.

Anyhow, tickets to each game are put on sale at 10am the day before, so we were planning to go split up and go to different stations early this morning to guarantee getting tickets for tomorrow's Oman game. But then suddenly this morning I got a phone call that they are canceling all ticket sales and now all the games are going to be free. I just checked on the Gulf Cup 19 website and it's true:
The organizing committee for the 19th Gulf Cup tournament has decided that starting today, all matches will be free. All the fans will be able to attend their team's matches and support them without paying, but they will have to abide by the regulations set for this policy. It will be a first-come first-served strategy as the stadium gates will be opened at 3:30 every day and closed at 5:00. [link]
It's going to be pandemonium. My son has been asking me every day if we're going to go see the game in the stadium. But now that the tickets are first come basis, immediately before the match, my wife is having second thoughts about it and says it's better to watch from home. To get tickets we're going to have to go from 3.30 and stay in the stadium till the game starts at 6pm. That's too long a wait for a three and a half year old kid. If we go late we might not get tickets and we'd end up stuck in the traffic to get home. And worst case, what if there's no tickets available and the crowd gets out of control?

I guess I'm gonna have to try some wasta to get VIP tickets.


Blue Chi said...

This is really such a mess. I can't believe that they don't see the benefits for having a "tickets system" for such a popular event, and I can't believe that they decided not take the money when the public are all ready and willing to pay for it!

muscati said...

It's because they screwed up in the first place by distributing the tickets at petrol stations. They needed a computerized system. Now instead of fixing it they are making it worse. What are they going to do when 50,000+ people show up on match day when there are only 15,000 tickets allocated for Oman? How are they going to keep a crowd that big in order.

Wardat_il'7leej said...

Its the typical situation that happens in Oman. The police run rampant controlling traffic and people in a very haphazard manner.

We were considering attending one of the matches but after reading that tickets are for free, i think we can safely scratch that idea.

Petite For Life said...

If I am not wrong and heard correctly via the redio, its now free for everyone.

3anooda said...

yeah i heard about the free ticket thing - it was in the paper this morning.

imagine if oman gets to the finals - that day would seriously be trouble. they should unify it and make the sales in just one location such as the stadium - ur good with these things. perhaps u can talk to someone.

i was interested in watching at least one of the live game but not anymore. maybe i will go to the UAE vs. Yemen game - Omanies wont be interested there and will be easy getting tickets. LOOOL

Kay said...

How cute is your little son! Does it have to be a Oman team game? My friend went to the Yeman UAE game and it was empty. I went to my first game May 2008 I loved it.

Amjad said...

Your son reminds me of myself when I was young. I guess the first football match I watched in the stadium (and maybe last) was back in Khaleeji 13 when it was in Muscat. Back then I was not as young as your son though.

I wish I was in Oman during this time. With Khaleeji 20 being in Yemen and Khaleeji 21 in Iraq, I think I will have to wait another 16 years to encounter Khaleeji in Muscat again.

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