FIBA World Cup

Traffic woes: FIBA World Cup playoffs moved to MOA Arena

Philip Matel

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Traffic woes: FIBA World Cup playoffs moved to MOA Arena

REDEMPTION. Gilas Pilipinas looks to bounce back from a series of disappointing performances.


FIBA shifts the World Cup final stage venue from Bulacan to Pasay City

MANILA, Philippines – Citing possible traffic jams in Bulacan, FIBA approved the venue shift of the World Cup final stage from the Philippine Arena to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The FIBA Central Board, whose members are in Manila to attend the World Cup draw at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, April 29, made the announcement on Friday.

“The main concern leading to the decision was the requirement to provide consistent and swift transfer of the teams and fans to multiple games over the six days of the Final Phase,” basketball’s governing body said in a statement.

“Despite completing the construction of a toll road connecting Metro Manila with the Philippines Arena in 2021, it could only be tested in real conditions since November 2022, after COVID restrictions were lifted,” it added.

While not naming specific events, FIBA cited “serious traffic and transport concerns” in the past events held at the world’s largest indoor arena.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), meanwhile, assured ticket holders that “appropriate emails will be sent individually informing them of the venue change and further continued advice as to their tickets and seats.”

In recent reports, several events such as Game 7 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, the Harry Styles and Blackpink concerts, had fans waiting for hours before they could exit the Philippine Arena compound.

To help alleviate the gridlock, concert organizers sold bus tickets that would bring audience members back and forth from a certain point in Metro Manila for about P600.

“Despite improvements tested with transport and traffic engineers, the Board came to the conclusion that an event with multiple sessions in one day, like the Final Phase of the World Cup, couldn’t be delivered to the standards required for the players and fans experience,” rued FIBA.

As part of its commitment to establish an attendance record at the World Cup, FIBA decided to put Gilas Pilipinas’ two opening-round games at the venue, which boasts a capacity of 55,000.

The PBA brought in a league-record 54,589 viewers in Barangay Ginebra’s 114-99 win over guest team Bay Area Dragons last January.

The Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia are set to co-host the quadrennial affair slated from August 25 to September 10, 2023. –

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