GO Tour Sinnoh: Los Angeles Traffic and Long Waits Plague Event’s First Day

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Yesterday’s Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh event in Los Angeles, which took place at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, encountered unexpected challenges that affected its kickoff.

Slated to start at 09:00 AM local time, the event saw delays as many Trainers found themselves caught in the city’s notorious traffic, resulting in late arrivals and a staggered start to what was anticipated to be a day filled with excitement and Pokémon catching.

Los Angeles traffic is a force of nature, and it has resulted in a large number of complaints on Twitter, but not all Trainers think Niantic is the one to blame here. One of the Los Angeles based Trainers even wrote a popular Reddit post defending Niantic, and went on to clarify how traffic, parking, and travel times usually work in LA.

However, our further investigation showed that there were more issues at play here, one of them being long queue times at the event venue.

Niantic’s Apology and Response

In response to the situation, Niantic, issued an apology on their official website, acknowledging the inconvenience caused to participants. In order to fix this situation, Niantic extended the duration of the City Wide gameplay later in the day and activated additional bonuses for participants.

Here’s a direct quote from Niantic’s post:

Tonight, February 17, 2024, the city event experience will be expanded to include all of Los Angeles and Orange County for three extra hours, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PST, and include additional raids and wild Pokémon encounters. Please note that event gameplay will not be available within Rose Bowl Stadium or Brookside Golf Course during this additional time.

The statement on their blog expressed regret for any frustration experienced by Trainers, and even provided some sound advice on avoiding this situation on Sunday:

We suggest that Sunday Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles ticket holders plan to arrive early to Rose Bowl Stadium tomorrow. For the smoothest experience, Trainers can also reserve parking ahead of time by purchasing it here.

We must say that Niantic did good here. They were fast to respond, their communication was transparent, and we are particularly happy with the way this is being handled across all social media.

Community Reaction and Support

germany, berlin – Pokémon GO, GO Fest Berlin 2022

Surprisingly, the community has rallied in support! As we already mention, a very popular thread has gained traction on r/TheSilphRoad, with numerous Trainers defending Niantic.

Many pointed out that the traffic issues in Los Angeles, a city known for its dense traffic and complex road networks, were beyond Niantic’s control. Most Trainers agree that the blame should not be placed on the event organizers, as they could not have predicted or mitigated the traffic conditions that day:

Sorry, if you wanted to make LA your holiday trip and got an airbnb in Santa Monica by the beach and thought you could drive to Pasadena in 30 minutes. That’s not the reality for ANYONE in Los Angeles. And Niantic is not a tourism company responsible for making your itinerary or making sure you know travel conditions in a new city.

Traffic in LA is not Niantic’s fault. People trying to show up right at door’s opening and expecting to waltz in is not Niantic’s fault. People showing up an hour late because of traffic and expecting to waltz in is also not Niantic’s fault! There, I said it!

As someone who had the (lucky) opportunity to often visit and drive in Los Angeles, I can confirm what was said above. LA’s traffic can be brutal, and Pasadena, where the event is being held, is not close to any of the usual tourist spots. Los Angeles is not a city built for tourism, and you have to drive all the time, with most drives taking from 1 hour to 2 hours.

But we are not sure if this reddit post paints the entire picture, as Trainers did point out there were more issues at the venue itself, regardless of when you arrived.

An hour-long line to get through security check

Another issue we saw frequently mentioned was that long lines at the entrance were also part of the problem. Some Trainers arrived early enough, but were still not able to enter the stadium in time:

The problem is that there was not enough staff to check people in for the event. They were using one gate. I got there at like 8:40, walked 10 minutes to the entrance because there was a line of cars, and waited in line for about 45 minutes. And my friend and I got lucky, would’ve have waited probably double the time if we’d been 5 minutes later. The line got absolutely massive.

With another redditor adding more information on what could be improved for Sunday’s Sinnoh Tour event:

I agree but Niantic didn’t have any signs or any indication of where to line up at. That added to the wait times/confusion.

We strongly think Niantic can, and should, influence this. Either by communicating where to line up in advance on their blog, or by working with the venue to place visual indicators on site. The line should be quick and efficient, as it was at other closed venues, such as Pokémon GO Fest 2023: London and Pokémon GO Fest Berlin 2022.

Both of these events had long lines on day one, but the lines were fast, well communicated, and security checks were amazingly pleasant – when they were taking place at all.

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Zeroghan started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. A lover of all things Pokémon, web development, and writing.

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