Crime free fan fest in PE

2010-07-12 14:43

About 270 000 visitors enjoyed the delights of a virtually

crime-free and fun-filled Fifa fan fest at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth

during the past weeks.

The final count came to more than 268 000 highly delighted

visitors, about three stolen cellphones, a few minor injuries and a significant

boost to Nelson Mandela Bay’s image and popularity.

Fan fest director Glenn van Eck is particularly pleased that there

were hardly any incidents of crime, misbehaviour or injury.

Up to the last night, when cellphones were snatched from three

women, the fan fest was almost crime-free.

The high visibility of police and security officials kept criminals

away from the St George’s Park venue.

The well-equipped medical emergency section at the Fan Fest had to

deal with only a few minor mishaps, such as sprained ankles and headaches.

“Offering the fanpark facility to soccer fanatics from all over the

world was a privilege,” Van Eck said today.

“It was amazing to witness the interaction between the spectators,

the way they were united in their love of the game. It was like hosting a huge

family of very different countries and cultures, all under one roof.”

Van Eck said the mostly marvellous weather the city experienced

during the World Cup tournament played a huge part in the popularity of the

Nelson Mandela Bay fan fest.

“With the exception of one or two cold spells, we could not have

asked for better. Many of the overseas visitors could not believe that it was

actually mid-winter.

“I am certain many of them will return for holidays. And even the

few cold evenings delighted some people because business boomed at the food

stalls when the temperature dropped and visitors lined up for coffee, hot

chocolate and ‘slap tjips’ to keep them warm.

“I have no doubt we made full use of the opportunity to impress

thousands of foreigners and other visitors who enjoyed our wonderful province

and city. We will reap the fruits of that for many years to come.”


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