《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taipei Dome hosts 13,000 people in first public event
An estimated crowd of 13,000 people attend a free exhibition baseball game at the Taipei Dome yesterday. Photo: CNA
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNA
Farglory Group （遠雄集團） and the Taipei City Government yesterday held the first public event at the Taipei Dome, inviting 13,000 people to watch a free baseball game to test seating, crowd flow and traffic controls at the facility.
The stadium, which has a capacity of about 40,000 people and held a closed-door test game on Tuesday, yesterday hosted an exhibition game between the nation’s Asian Baseball Championship team and U-23 Baseball World Cup training team.
Contractor Farglory said it would collect opinions from coaches, players and attendees after the game to help improve the stadium.
The Taipei City Government in 2006 signed a build-operate-transfer contract with Farglory to construct the Taipei Dome, but controversies concerning the public safety of the stadium and shopping mall complex caused work on the project to be halted several times over the past eight years.
People were allowed to enter the stadium at 11am for yesterday’s 1pm game. Staff wearing vests guided crowds at exits four and five of the nearby Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT Station, as well as in the underground corridor that runs from the station to the dome.
While many attendees praised the facility for its aesthetics and comfort, some complained that the markings and signage for directions were unclear.
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an （蔣萬安） said the city government would continue to gather opinions on all aspects of the facility, such as direction markings, crowd guidance, seating, and broadcast and stadium screen quality.
He said the traffic and crowd flow before the game was smooth, adding that most of the people arrived by bus or the MRT rail system.
The Taipei Department of Transportation said that the traffic flow around the dome was normal when people were allowed to enter from 11am, and when the crowd began to leave at about 4:22pm.
It said that 969 vehicles and 1,116 scooter parking spaces in the dome were opened for the game, but they were not filled up, as more than 80 percent of the audience arrived on foot or by public transportation.