Oooh! Poor Steven.
They announced several times during the match that they would close the car parks at the end 'of tonight's event' to allow pedestrians to disperse and when I left the ground there was already a long queue of cars waiting to get out of the tarmaced car park just behind the west stand. They were being held by a line of stewards across the exit.
I walked across to the waste ground where I was parked (a couple of mins only), from which cars were leaving but, as I reached the exit, a steward held me for a few minutes to allow pedestrians to go by. When I was allowed out, I had a completely clear run, presumably because whatever traffic had left ahead of me had dispersed in the short while I was held.
I can imagine if Steven was parked at the far side of the tarmaced car park, he could have been a long way back in that queue, then held for some time while they closed the exit, and had to crawl out afterwards in a stream of several hundred cars, released on to the A57 five or six at a time by the traffic lights (could always do something about the sequencing?). Maybe that unpredictability's why so many seemed to be walking back to the Trafford Centre car parks? One of the local rugby clubs, or Barton airfield might also avoid problems if the exit from the stadium area is difficult.
whaley those tweets are mine (my id on twitter is @evnstevene) and your assumptions/ comments are, in the main, well wide of the mark. Thanks for the sympathy!
just to explain yes i was parked at the far end of the car park but left more 10 minutes prior to the end of the game
with my friends to ensure I got away.
my main issue, annoyance and gripe is the organisation of the car parking and the stewards. if you are parked at the back end of the car park you have no clue which is the best way to get out of the car park. nothing is signposted, its a bit like wacky races and the stewards are obviously subcontracted from chocolate fireguard Ltd. I made it to the edge of the tarmac area of the car park before unceremoniously being cordoned off as the game finished to allow pedestrians to exit. I was then given no advice as to where to queue from there. then the wacky races started and I unfortunately picked the wrong queue along with a lot of other cars, hence my frustration. Just to emphasise the point when I finally got out of the car park after 10.30pm there were still loads of cars behind me. My view is with better signposting and better trained stewards the car parking would be better and wouldn't be the absolute disgrace it is at present. I would also point out there was around 6-7000 people there last night, imagine the same scenario with a 9000+ crowd.
In terms of the rest of the 'barton experience' I was actually very impressed. wasn't too difficult to get to the ground (although might be more of an issue around xmas!). the playing area is superb with plenty of playing surface compared to the more cramped EP. Atmosphere and catering was good, an upgrade, I thought, on EP. Lack of an equivalent 'shark tent' before the match was something which sale should look at adding if they move there. it would also make sense, with the car parking issues, to have something similar afterwards. Having grown up watching RL it was amusing the be back amongst RL fans, certainly the salford fans haven't changed!
I also think with exposed position of the ground the weather, esp the wind, will be a more significant element in matches.
My friends and I, have previously said we are committed to getting season tickets again next year even if we move, but we are now having a long hard think after last night. certainly I have learnt some dos and don'ts but I shouldn't have too, the parking is really badly managed. Certainly I would advise people driving to park outside of the 'local resident' parking restrictions and walk the mile or so to the ground and think long and hard about parking at the ground.
For the record I also (whilst in my stationery car!) had a number of twitter exchanges with other sale fans who, like me, were stuck in the car park well after whaley got away, so maybe, Whaley, you were lucky and in the minority? Mike Keegan from the MEN also had some not so nice things to say about the car parking planning at the ground on twitter.
It might be worthwhile the club having another look at their financial assumptions for the move if they are expecting bigger (or even the same) crowd. Certainly transport and parking should be a concern as to the expected attendances. I wonder if a number of season ticket holders next season may not renew and just pick their games until the parking situation improves or they can find a solution which suits them. Something for the powers that be to consider. It may not be, even with increased corporate facilities, the golden opportunity it seems unless they sort issues like this out. Corporates (being one of them on numerous occasions/ reasonably regular basis) like sporting events with big crowds and good atmospheres, not half empty stadia.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 31/03/2012 21:59 by stevene.