France rugby show organizers to pull up socks


France again Fans have trouble to get into stadiums Image: Bouygues Construction

The Rugby World Cup organizers will take steps to improve access to Marseille’s (France) Stade Vélodrome after numerous fans missed the start of England’s match against Argentina on September 9th night.

‘AP’ stated that all 63,118 ticket-holders eventually reached their seats after many were stuck in long queues when the game kicked off at 9 pm.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is the ongoing 10th men’s Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for rugby union national teams. It got off to a start in France from September 8th and will conclude on October 28th, 2023 in nine venues across the country and is the first to take place entirely in France. The tournament is being held in the bicentenary year of the ‘invention’ of the sport by William Webb Ellis.

The 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome, known for sponsorship reasons as the Orange Vélodrome since June 2016, is a multipurpose stadium in Marseille, France.

‘AP’ further stated that the Ireland fans were also reportedly held up by a lack of public transport in Bordeaux (France) on September 9th when they headed to the game against Romania. Many were still waiting outside when the national anthems started.

The Rugby World Cup (RWC) organizers sent out a statement on September 10th which read, “Fan experience is paramount to everyone involved in the staging of the tournament. France 2023 is deploying more service volunteers to welcome fans (to Stade Vélodrome) and direct ticket holders to the appropriate entry points.”

Marseille is to host three more games, including France-Namibia on September 21st, South Africa-Tonga (country in Oceania) on October 1st and two quarterfinals.

French authorities pledged recently to mobilize a record number of police officers to guarantee a smooth Rugby World Cup. In the wake of the chaos outside the 80,000-capacity Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France that marred the 2022 Champions League soccer final, France has been under pressure over the past year to prove it can handle large crowds efficiently and without escalating tensions, heading into next year’s Paris Olympics.

The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Paris 2024, is a forthcoming international multisport event that is scheduled to take place from July 26th-August 11th, 2024 with Paris as its main Host City and 16 Cities spread across metropolitan France and one in Tahiti – an island within the French overseas country and overseas collectivity of French Polynesia – as a subsite.

The Rugby Organizers promised on September 10th more announcements on public transport in French and English to ensure fans get off at the right stop, as there is a different stop for the Stade Vélodrome North Stand and South Stand. Entry points and gate entry times will also be directly communicated to the ticket holders.

The stadium plaza will open three hours before kickoff and fans are encouraged to gather there for the pre-match refreshments. A second ticket check will open two hours before the match and fans are encouraged to arrive as early as possible.

Many sports fans arriving to Marseille traditionally congregate in the many bars and restaurants around the old port area, and then head off to the stadium, which is roughly a five-kilometer (three-mile) walk away.

France has been impacted by a crushing heat wave for the past few days.

Amid sweltering conditions of around 35 degrees (95 Fahrenheit), there was no air conditioning on Réseau Express Régional (RER) trains taking fans to Stade de France for the September 8th tournament-opening game between France and New Zealand or for the September 9th encounter between Australia and Georgia.

The security fiasco last year at the Stade de France drew worldwide attention to heavy-handed policing, raising questions about how France manages security at big events.

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