Thursday, April 24, 2014


New Stadiums And Access

There do seem to have been a spate of news stadiums go up in the last few seasons in Indonesia which is a good thing. Getting to them though is not always easy.

Bung Tomo in Surabaya is a case in point. It is bloody miles from sits off a narrow single carriage lane surrounded by rice fields. From a distance it looks like a space ship has landed in the middle of nowhere and has no way of returning from whence it came.

Si Jalak Harupat is an older venue but it too is a bugger to get to. Soreang?! The easiest route is along the highway a stretch then join a narrow bumpy lane for a journey that can take an age if Persib are playing at home. Not so long if Persikab or Pelita Bandung have a home game though! And then, once you are there, there is only one access into the car park!

My memory is less secure when it comes to Jakabaring, the venue for Sriwijaya's ground. Not actually in Palembang, you have to cross the city's iconic bridge to reach there and then, of course, there is the monster car park with just one way in! No fun for a big crowd!

And then there is Arema's home at Kanjuruhan. A scenic drive out there to be sure but sod all when you get there.

Those four stadiums are commercial wastelands. Wanna bite to eat or a drink? Make do with a bag of nuts and a plastic bottle of water!

Some stadiums do though break the mold. Delta Stadium is situated right next to the toll road connecting Sidoarjo with Malang and Surabaya and, even better, there are plenty of options nearby for a bite to eat including well lit, air conditioned mini marts and even golden arches!

One reason I like going to Manahan Stadium, apart from the manic Pasoepati fans, is the stadium is fairly central and close to a reasonable hotel.

A number of new stadiums are currently being constructed and it would be nice to think access and facilities were part of the master plan though don't draw your breath.

Persipasi's Patriot Stadium is fairly central and if I recall not to far from the station...of course it ain't being used so tough! Persib, Persita and Persiba Balikpapan are also in the process of getting new grounds and it would be nice if they were not just blocks of concrete ill served by transport or food.

Of course, I realise this may all be coming from a foreigner's view point. Many fans walk to stadiums or 'hijack' trucks for a ride and they may not have the cash to splurge on much else. But Indonesian football is forever moaning about having no money. Surely there is a balance between catering to those who do have a bit of disposable income and the hardcore who are the heart and soul of the club/

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