Bangkok, Thailand, June 20, 2017 – With just one month to go until the FIVB World Grand Prix Pool H kicks off at Hua Mark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, unprecedented demand for tickets has already reached a fever pitch.
Bangkok will host the World Grand Prix Preliminary Round for Pool H encounters between July 21 and 23, 2017, which sees world No.8 Italy, world No.9 Dominican Republic, world No.12 Turkey and world No.14 hosts Thailand contest a single round-robin event to vie for the top honour in the pool and a place in the World Grand Prix Finals in Nanjing, China. Twelve teams including reigning champions Brazil, Rio Games winners China, world champions USA, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands will compete in Group 1 preliminaries from July 7 to 23. Only top five teams after the preliminaries plus hosts China will make the cut for the Finals from August 2 to 6.
The 6,000 capacity arena, although this can be expanded to 8,000 if necessary, hosts the World Grand Prix for a fifth consecutive year after welcoming the Preliminary Round matches from 2013 to 2015 and the Finals last year.
Despite the fact that the Pool H encounters are just one month away, hundreds of home fans start complaining of the insufficiency of the entry tickets to watch those matches at the venue. Last year, just five minutes after the ticket reservation was made, all tickets were sold out.
In popular social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and volleyball websites, thousands have posted comments, asking the organisers to increase the amount of tickets to meet a huge demand of spectators.
However, the complaints of volleyball fans have been simply cleared by Mr Jaksuwan Tocharoen, Secretary-General of the Thailand Volleyball Association. In his recent interview, Jaksuwan said, “The Hua Mark Indoor Stadium has a seating capacity of 6,000, while tens of thousands of fans have said they want to watch the matches at the venue. We found it very difficult to handle such a great demand of tickets, so we try to promote the tournament through TV live broadcast and online live streaming instead. The Thai fans and family members in every volleyball-watching household in the country will have a good chance to reach the World Grand Prix Pool H encounters this year. Aside from improving the quality of the TV live broadcast, we have also planned to set up an outdoor big screen in front of the venue to bring the live broadcast signal for those without any tickets. In terms of the ticket reservation, I think those interested can book tickets in the first week of July.
“Some fans have suggested that we move to a bigger arena such as the one in Nong Jok and another one in Muangthong Thani, but to host the world-class competition like the World Grand Prix, we have to follow the FIVB regulations. Those two venues are very far away from the official team hotel Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel. More importantly, to organise the World Grand Prix matches, we have to make sure that installations for basic facilities and infrastructure have been made out there. Distances from the competition venue to the team hotel, accommodations and services are all necessary factors for the organisers’ decisions to make when choosing a venue.”
Asked about Thailand’s readiness for hosting the World Grand Prix Pool H clash between July 21 and 23, Jaksuwan said, “As the organisers, we are now 70% ready for hosting the top-flight competition. The remaining 30% will be a decoration task. I’m quite upbeat that our preparation for hosting this year’s World Grand Prix Pool H encounters will be completed in time.
“In terms of the competition, Italy, Dominican Republic and Turkey are very strong teams. To beat them is not that easy. However, our team also play well, especially when playing in front of a large crowd of home fans. Cheering fans will help boost our team morale and at the same time, it will help generate a cheering atmosphere full of thrills, spills and unexpected twists of tough contest. An action-packed competition awaits Italy, Dominican Republic, Turkey and hosts Thailand in the Pool H clash in Bangkok,” he concluded.
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