Be pa­tient for the game

Hamilton Metro News - - COMMUNITY -

As Hamil­ton gears up for the big­gest mid-week sport­ing fixture in decades, the city’s com­muters are be­ing urged to ex­er­cise pa­tience and courtesy and con­sider pub­lic trans­port op­tions.

The Chiefs will play the Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions at FMG Sta­dium Waikato to­day as part of the DHL New Zealand Lions Se­ries 2017. The ground’s crowd ca­pac­ity has been in­creased to 30,000 with the ad­di­tion of a tem­po­rary stand at the Tris­tram St end of the sta­dium.

Ja­son Har­ri­son, Hamil­ton City Coun­cil’s City Trans­port Man­ager, says the size of the match crowd and the sched­ul­ing of the game means there will be im­pacts on traf­fic around FMG Sta­dium Waikato.

“Be­cause we need to get 30,000 peo­ple in and out of the sta­dium safely, we will be clos­ing sev­eral streets around the venue be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the match,” Mr Har­ri­son says.

The traf­fic man­age­ment around FMG Sta­dium Waikato be­gins at 6pm and runs un­til 10.30pm. It cov­ers Mill St, Tris­tram St and Seddon Rd, with Mill St past the sta­dium closed from 6pm for the du­ra­tion of the game.

Mr Har­ri­son en­cour­aged the city’s mo­torists and peo­ple vis­it­ing for the match to be cour­te­ous and pa­tient in next Tues­day’s traf­fic, and con­sider us­ing Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil’s pub­lic trans­port ser­vice and car­pool­ing with friends or work col­leagues to min­imise con­ges­tion.

“BUSIT’s free rugby shut­tles will op­er­ate from 6pm, leav­ing Hood St ap­prox­i­mately ev­ery seven min­utes and fol­low­ing the usual cir­cu­lar route in­cor­po­rat­ing Vic­to­ria St, Ul­ster St, Mill St, Nor­ton Rd, Bryce St, An­gle­sea St and Alexan­dra St,” says Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil’s Trans­port Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Andrew Wil­son.

“We pro­vide these ad­di­tional ser­vices to get pa­trons to the ground and ease some of the bur­den on the city’s road net­work on game day.”

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil has also marked walking routes to the sta­dium, from Claude­lands— the lo­ca­tion of a tem­po­rary cam­per­van park for vis­it­ing Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions fans— and the cen­tral city. Mr Har­ri­son urged fans to con­sider walking to the venue to avoid con­tribut­ing to the con­ges­tion.

The con­crete area op­po­site FMG Sta­dium on Mill St— next to the Sta­dium Bowl­ing Club and some­times known as “pit lane”— will also be un­avail­able to com­muters and gen­eral pub­lic for park­ing on Tues­day.

Chad Hooker, the Coun­cil’s Ma­jor Events Di­rec­tor, is also urg­ing fans to ar­rive early and “travel light” if they’re head­ing to the game.

“As a gen­eral rule, we search peo­ple’s bags as they en­ter FMG Sta­dium Waikato and we can speed up every­one’s en­try to the venue if there are fewer bags to look through,” he says.

“It’s about get­ting peo­ple in and out of the venue as smoothly as we can and if peo­ple don’t need bags for the game, we’re ask­ing them not to bring them in.”

■ The match kicks off at 7.30pm, and gates at FMG Sta­dium Waikato will open at 5.30pm.

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