KARACHI: The National Stadium will light up for cricket’s homecoming on March 25, Sunday, when it hosts the final of the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
As fans in Karachi and elsewhere prepare to attend the match, it’s important to keep in mind that there will be a roughly four-hour-long, three-tier security clearance procedure before the spectators can enter the stadium.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the security measures the fans will go through before reaching the stadium:
Ticket holders will park their vehicles at designated car parking areas, where there will be six marshalling areas. At the car park, they will undergo the first physical search, and their tickets will be verified by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) staff.
Designated parking areas:
→ Federal Urdu University ground
→ Ground beside Hakeem Saeed Park
→ Sunday Bazaar ground adjacent to Baitul Mukarram Mosque
→ Gharib Nawaz Football Ground near Millenium Mall
→ China Ground (Kashmir Road)
→ KDA Club
→ KMC Ground
Spectators must carry their tickets with them to the car parking areas, as they will not be permitted to park without tickets.
Shuttle to drop zones
After this, a shuttle service will pick the spectators and drop them off at the three designated drop zones: one at Expo Centre, one opposite Bahria University, and a third opposite Aga Khan Hospital.
There will be another physical search at the drop zone.
Walk to stadium
Spectators will then walk from the drop zone to the stadium gates (a distance of about 200-300 metres). Senior citizens and differently-abled spectators will be transported from the drop zones to the gates via buses.
Spectators will undergo a third physical search at the stadium gates. They will then be guided to their seats by the PCB staff.
► Shuttle service begins, and stadium gates open, at 12pm
► Stadium gates close at 5pm
► Opening ceremony to take place around 6pm
► Match to start around 7pm
► Match expected to end around 11pm
After the match ends, the spectators will be transported back to the marshalling area via the shuttle service. Spectators are advised to use the same shuttle service and route they did when they came.
Food and drinks
No one is allowed to carry eatables from outside the venue.
A series of PCB-approved vendors will set up food stalls within the car parking areas. Spectators can purchase food and drinks from these stalls and then go to the stadium.
Ambulances will also be present at the parking areas in case of any medical emergency.
Carry your cellphone. Make sure it is fully charged
Carry your ticket and CNIC with you
Carry a power bank to charge your cellphone
Carry any food or drinks from outside
Routes leading to and from Hassan Square and New Town will be closed for traffic on March 25.
However, the roads leading to private hospitals on the Stadium Road will remain open. Shahrah-e-Faisal and Shahrah-i-Quaideen will also remain functional throughout.
Traffic coming from Nursery (or Airport) will be diverted towards Drigh Road Shahrah-e-Faisal, left (or right) turn Rashid Minhas Road, Millenium to NIPA.
Traffic from Rashid Minhas Road will be diverted from NIPA towards Drigh Road, and from Shahrah-e-Faisal towards NIPA.
Rangers personnel will be responsible for security inside the National Stadium, while police and other law enforcement authorities will secure the stadium from the outside.
A total of 8,500 police personnel will be deployed around the stadium for the match, according to DIG Traffic Imran Yaqoob Minhas.
A total of 1,600 traffic police officers will be deployed across the metropolis to assist commuters in avoiding traffic jams and other hurdles.
According to DIG West Zulfiqar Ali Larik, the South Zone police will be deployed for the security of the hotel where the players will be staying.