The Szczecin x Gdansk match was supposed to be one of the hottest games of PlusLiga’s opening week, as it would pit last season’s bronze medalists against Szczecin‘s recent formed super-team. But the game was not meant to be, much to the frustration of fans, as the lights went out at Szczecin‘s arena when the score was 5-5 in the first set. The game was cancelled and should be postponed for a later date soon. According to reports in Gdank’s website, the power failure resulted from a malfunction of the arena’s fire protection system after a fan started smoking in one of its toilets, although the official reason for the black-out has not yet been established.
Last season, when Szczecin didn’t boast its diamond-studded roster, it boasted only 500 fans in its standings on PlusLiga’s opening day. This time around, it managed to fill its stands with 5000+ supporters. It’s easy to see then, why the club management, after investing a truckload of money in the team, is devastated with what happened at Netto Arena, specially considering that Poland is coming off a WCH win, which means its the best time possible to capitalize in the fans’ interest in the sport. The club took to its official website to pen a heartfelt apology to its fans:
“Sunday was to be a great volleyball holiday for all of Szczecin. The seats at Netto Arena were already filled almost to the last chair. Before the official start of the duel there was a very nice ceremony, during which the world champions were honored. Piotr Nowakowski from Trefla Gdańsk and Bartosz Kurek and Michał Mieszko Gogol from the side of the Shipyard received their thanks and special gifts.
The game, unfortunately, lasted unexpectedly briefly, because after ten points played in Netto Arena, the light went out. A large group of people fought fiercely for three consecutive hours, but the problem turned out to be too serious. Just before 18:00, the announcer announced that the match would not take place. Like the fans, especially those gathered in the stands in Szczecin, we are extremely disappointed with the final effect of the inauguration of the new PlusLiga season.
We have made every effort to create a unique spectacle with a lot of attractions for viewers. Unfortunately, a serious technical defect, not caused in any way by us, has destroyed this effort and great hopes for an unforgettable time spent together. However, we would like to apologize to everyone for the situation. Each of the five thousand spectators who appeared in the stands of Netto Arena deserves great respect for the understanding and patience after the match’s cancellation. We are all very grateful for this. You were, you are and you will always be amazing fans.
For us, volleyball has always been in the first place. Therefore, after all, we want everyone disappointed with this exceptionally annoying incident compensated in a proper way. We are waiting for the decision of the Polish Volleyball League on the date of the new match. All tickets purchased on Sunday are automatically valid fro the new match For those of you who decide to give up tickets, we will try to launch a refund formula with the hall operator on Monday. We will inform you about this immediately, after having determined details, on our websites, on social media and through the press. We will work hard to greet fans with an amazing experience, with lots of surprises, in this following match.
We have also not forgotten about the fans who came from Gdańsk to the match. We will refund all Gdansk supporters the full costs of their trip. We are waiting for you again in Szczecin with open arms.
We worked tireless hours in hopes of building a new experience for Polish volleyball fans. We hope that the event did not negatively affect our fans. We will be honored if the fans accept to return to our arena for our next matches. Let us create a NEW HISTORY TOGETHER.”