You might have needed a level of patience appropriate for a first lady of the United States if you were among those caught in traffic Thursday ahead of Michelle Obama’s speaking engagement at SaskTel Centre.
Many attendees told 650 CKOM they faced delays of an hour or more trying to get to the event in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
SaskTel Centre executive director Scott Ford was at a loss to explain the delays, saying the facility had the same complement of staff on hand that would normally work a Saskatchewan Rush game — even though Obama’s speech was attended by substantially fewer people.
“We had our standard, full deployment of parking staff on. And for this event our number of fans was very close to 9,000,” he said.
Ford suggested many attendees may not have given themselves enough time to get to the stadium.
“We opened doors early, but people didn’t come early for some reason,” he said.
Ford said they pushed the event start time back by about 30 minutes in an effort to give people time to get to their seats.
“We noticed that the crowds were coming in slower so we ended up holding the show just to make sure everyone could get in before the show started,” he said.
Despite the later start, many audience members told 650 CKOM they didn’t get to their seats until the program was well underway after struggling to get to the venue and find parking.