Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (UPDATE) — Huge crowds estimated at 10,000 formed a two-kilometer queue in the rain Saturday morning to buy tickets for tonight’s finals match between Thailand and Japan in the 17th Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship.
The Chatchai Hall venue only has 5,000 seats, and each person in line was only allowed to purchase one ticket in order to assure fairness, according to a Bangkok Post report.
The report said the crowd had spilled onto the main road for nearly two kilometers by the time tickets went on sale at 9am this morning.
The regular price of the tickets is 100 and 200 baht (US$3.21 to $6.43), but scalpers were reportedly asking 1,000 to 2,000 baht (US$32.14 to $64.29) after the hall sold out.
Police officers were on hand to maintain order and to prevent crimes.
Because of the excessive number of fans, organizers sold an additional 400 standing-room tickets priced at 100 baht each and distributed them through a drawing of lots in the early afternoon.
The match can also be viewed on televisions and giant projection screens on the stadium dome for people who missed out on tickets.
The Thailand-Japan championship match takes place at 6 p.m., and will be broadcast live on Channel 7 and on True Sport 106.
In the semi-finals on Friday, Thailand beat defending champion and #1 seed China 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14, while Japan defeated South Korea.
It was Thailand’s latest huge win. They also defeated second-seeded Japan earlier in the tournament.
The Thai team has won just one Asian title – in 2009 when they defeated China in the final. Image/Photo by Thanarak Khoonton/BangkokPost.com