THE NEW Arena at Crufts was voted a resounding success by most visitors and exhibitors – but on Saturday, Day Three of the show, even the new arena’s 6,600-strong capacity could not cope with the crush.
The Arena’s new location beyond Hall 1 certainly freed up a great deal more space in the rest of the Halls, but even then it was unable to prevent a huge bottleneck of crowds trying to get in and out of the seating area – which prompted the show management to close the facility several times during the course of the day on health and safety grounds!
The situation was managed well by KC and NEC officials and the bottleneck soon reduced with no undue problems caused to the spectators.
‘I don’t think any of us foresaw the popularity of the events in the Arena on that day,’ said a KC spokesman. ‘But it was simply a matter of closing the doors to the Arena until we were able to rotate the crowds.’
More visitors than ever poured into the NEC for Crufts this year, with an official total of 153,000 being logged over the four days, far exceeding last year’s gate of 140,000.