No Friday rush at Champs main gate
Vendors, scalpers hope to maximise on event's final day
Despite slow sales on Friday, this vendor manages to smile outside the gates of the National Stadium, where the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships is being held. (Photo: Jason Cross)

Operations at the main gate outside the National Stadium in St Andrew, where the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships is being held, were smooth on Friday afternoon as security guards conducted seamless bag and body searches while police and game officials prevented people from loitering and crowding the entrance.

"Anybody who is not going inside the stadium, please step aside," one of the officials was overheard telling groups of people on different occasions.

Friday was day four of the five-day championships and it was difficult to tell if patrons' eagerness to get inside the National Stadium contributed to vendors on the outside reporting very little sales.

"I sell horns, 'kerchief, hand band, headbands, and ties. I have been out here from Thursday and things a gwaan slow. Nothing at all never gwaan fi mi. Mi bruk mi ducks today, Friday, though," said one vendor who gave her name as Bev.

This soup vendor lifts the cover of her pot to show that she is experiencing slow sales outside the National Stadium on Friday. (Photo: Jason Cross)

"Saturday [today] is the big day and I am looking forward to it," she added.

Standing and hoping that sales would turn around before dusk was chicken foot soup vendor Princess.

"This is my first time out here and things are slow. I am looking forward to better things on Saturday," she told the Jamaica Observer.

One elderly vendor said that she misses the days when she would go inside the National Stadium to sell.

This coconut water and peanut vendor isn't daunted by slow sales on Friday outside the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships at the National Stadium. He told the Jamaica Observer that he will be bringing a lot more goods on Saturday when he expects he will see increased sales. (Photo: Jason Cross)

"A crisis now. I used to sell inside the stadium, but because I am not so young again, I can't manage it," she explained as she held her stock of horns, handkerchiefs and candy aloft to attract patrons' attention.

The scene outside would not be complete without scalpers, who buy a lot of tickets then resell them for a higher price.

They, too, complained that things were slow. However, they were much more optimistic that Saturday's activities will attract the usual massive crowd.

"Things nah really gwaan, but man deh yah a try eat a likkle food and stop a little gap. Saturday is going to be much bigger. Grandstand tickets are finished, but the Bleachers tickets selling now," said one scalper who opted for anonymity.

The drummers came out for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships on Friday afternoon. (Photo: Jason Cross)

"By about 12:00 to 1:00 pm on Saturday the Bleachers tickets a go done over the ticket office. We gonna try and buy out the ticket dem, just like the Grandstand tickets," he added.

Another scalper who has been in the hustle for many years shared that, "Nothing nah really gwaan; it a move slow. Saturday will be a better day. A Saturday yuh must check back with us for a better feedback."

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