Mall hopes to score with soccer camping option

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 June, 2006, 12:00am

While people usually camp in the countryside, last night soccer fans could sleep in tents inside a shopping mall in Tai Kok Tsui after watching the World Cup matches.

Olympian City has launched an overnight-stay service for soccer fans, available every night until the World Cup ends.

People must spend a minimum of $1,000 in the centre if they want to stay overnight. They can exchange their store receipts for a ticket for two to stay after watching the matches. The tickets are on a first-come-first-served basis.

'We will provide a tent and bedclothes for two people. Maids are ready to serve the campers, like ironing their clothes, and will wake them up in the morning. High-fibre and low-calorie breakfasts are provided,' said Irene So Kit-lin, general manager of retail marketing and promotions at Sino Estates Management.

Changing rooms are also available so people can change for work the next day.

'This idea sounds great,' said a 25-year-old salesman.

'I live in Kwai Chung and it's not convenient for me to watch matches after midnight. But now I can do so because there is an overnight service available.'

The company hopes the promotion will attract more customers to Olympian City. The centre has also set up two areas in which fans can watch World Cup matches - a VIP lounge and an excitement zone.

For admission to the lounge, people will have to spend a further $1,000 in the mall, while receipts of any amount from shops in the centre can be exchanged for tickets to the zone.

'Free drinks and snacks are served in the VIP lounge. A game corner and magazines are also available for fans to relax before the matches start. Most importantly, the VIP lounge is quieter,' Ms So said.

While the zone accommodates 2,000 people, the lounge holds a maximum of 20. And in the excitement zone, fans can shout and cheer their teams.

'I will choose to watch the event in the lounge as it is quiet and I can chat with my friends here as well,' said a 28-year-old technician.

Some viewers have watched World Cup games at the centre because they do not have Cable TV.

'I can't afford the subscription,' said a 39-year-old electrician. 'But I live nearby so it's convenient. I can do some shopping first and then wait to watch the matches. And I can cheer and scream here. If I watch at home, I can't shout since it will disturb my family.'

Olympian City is among many shopping malls across the city that have launched World Cup campaigns to attract more shoppers.

'We have a free shuttle bus in Mongkok to ferry people to and from our centre before and after the matches,' Ms So said. 'We also have foot massages and massage chairs.'