ALBURY could be in danger of losing a major primary school carnival and money spinner for the city after lengthy delays were experienced by competitors and spectators entering Albury Swim Centre on Wednesday.
The Riverina championships have been held at the Albury pool for more than a decade with some competitors and families electing to stay overnight due to long distances travelled.
Pool managers Aligned Leisure came under fire when long queues formed outside the only entry point before a second entry opened when some swimmers were in danger of missing events.
Albury Swimming Club president Phil Evans said Aligned Leisure "stuffed up completely" and he wouldn't be surprised if the event was moved to Leeton.
"I came down this morning to help set up, but the organisers (Riverina School Sports Association) were cranky with what happened," he said.
"They could have made $12,000 to $14,000 if they did their sums and got it right.
"There were parents saying their child didn't do well because they were stuck in line and couldn't do a warm-up before the meet started.
"There were about 100 people still waiting outside when the first event was held.
"There would have been people who stayed here overnight.
"It is money spent here in Albury which could be lost.
"It's been a complete and utter debacle."
Traditionally two gates are opened to cater for the large number of competitors and spectators.
Aligned Leisure's Albury-Wodonga aquatic facilities manager Ben Tudhope admitted there were delays of up to 20 minutes and stressed the event did finish on time.
"We met with organisers for this swimming carnival a few times last year to prepare for what we understood was a large event," he said.
Two gates have been used in the past for this event for the handover of pool entry payments.
"Unlike the majority of swim carnivals, participants pay on entry rather than an invoice being sent to the schools following the event," he said.
"We had eight staff on plus lifeguards to ensure students, teachers and parents got in as quickly as possible.
"Given the significant number of people all arriving at the same time this created a slight delay to get into the facility.
"Due to this we opened another entry point to speed up entry as much as possible."
Event convenor Emma Wilson was contacted for comment.
The latest dramas come after council held fire on introducing a preferred licencing arrangement for the payment of lane hire fees from next season.