Despite India's victory in their fourth consecutive ICC World Cup 2023 match, fueled by Virat Kohli's 48th ODI century, the dominant topic on social media centered around the "mismanagement" at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune's Gahunje. Many social media users expressed frustration over issues related to traffic and parking management, among other concerns.
One spectator, Satish Pattanshetti, vented his frustration on X (formerly Twitter), saying, "I stood for an hour in the scorching sun to enter when the match had already started, and no policeman or admin staff had any clue about what was going on." Another spectator, Shashank Bhalekar, highlighted the inconvenience, stating, "Two roads were closed for special entry to VIPs and VVIPs. The general public had to navigate through unstructured roads, causing significant traffic delays."
Amit Paranjape, an attendee, identified various areas that require improvement, spanning from the condition of the approach roads to the stadium and traffic management, to the need for better signage for parking lots and exits. He also emphasised the importance of more efficient parking lot management. Another attendee, Ashish Patil, shared his experience, saying, "I watched my first international match at Gahunje stadium in October 2013. Unfortunately, the parking facilities and the condition of the roads leading to the stadium have remained unchanged over the past decade, with no noticeable improvements."
Following the social media outcry, The Free Press Journal spoke to an MCA official to address these concerns. The official acknowledged that there was significant traffic due to the simultaneous influx of vehicles. However, he reassured that each vehicle found a parking spot. He explained, "The MCA has secured 42 acres of leased land within a one-and-a-half km radius of the stadium, providing parking facilities for 7,500 four-wheelers and 15,000 two-wheelers." Additionally, he emphasised the distinction between general parking and VIP parking, urging fans to understand the difference.
Regarding complaints of delayed entry to the stadium, the official clarified that they had requested attendees to arrive two hours early. "Due to the presence of 37,000 spectators and 2,000 staff, security checks became time-consuming and challenging, especially as most fans arrived just before the match," he said. The official highlighted the electrifying atmosphere in the stadium, stressing that despite the challenges, everyone left the match content after witnessing Virat Kohli's century.