So, there I was Friday night with Mrs. TSM and the two kids heading down to the Rogers Centre for the Toronto Blue Jays game, our first as a family all year. The tickets were a gift and were 1st row in the club level, 2nd deck right behind home plate. The kids, as you can expect were pretty psyched about going and we had promised them they could each get “something” from the game well before hand.
We headed down to the stadium early. With Mrs. TSM and the kids all born in Detroit, they wanted to be there for the first pitch and yes the national anthems. So there we were in the area of the dome around 605. Having scarfed down a burrito banditos burrito (me and the mrs. that is) and 1 Mikey’s hot dog (little TSM that is) we headed in for the game. The group decided to head for the store first so that the souvenir could be worn during the game. We got to the store a little before 615 and the place was jumping. Idiots like me ready to shell out a small fortune for t-shirts, balls and those insanely annoying plastic bracelets.
Anyways, the issue isn’t the $29 I paid for each of the t-shirts with the players names on the back. I was fully prepared to take one for the team, we didn’t have to eat at the dome and the parking and tickets were gratis. What I couldn’t believe is how piss poor the service was at the store. Keep in mind this is a Friday night. Now, I am not genius but I have to believe that games on Friday nights, like weekends tend to draw well as parents like us tend to bring our kids. Add to that the fact that it was one of the all you can eat promotional nights and well….
40 minutes later we finally left the store. There were 3 people working cash! It took 40 minutes to pay for 2 t-shirts. I looked around the store and asked for a manager, who told me that “they were short staffed”. Now, come on now. How many home games are there? How hard is it to find a few more of the $10/hr kids who were working???? I told the manager to take his boss to a store called the Apple Store to learn how a store should operate!
The same thing happened when we were at our seats (now rushed and exhausted) from the life long delay at the store and we ordered 4 pops. Not cups of soda, bottles. Again, it took 40 minutes to get our drinks. The response I got from the server was, you guessed it, we are short staffed.
Listen Blue Jays/ Rogers. If you want me to come back, like ever, this has to change. The tickets I was in cost $75 per seat. I’m sorry sir, were short staffed doesn’t cut it. You aren’t in business 365 days a year. You have a defined number of home games. There’s no excuse.
Now, the worst part. I’ve been yapping around these parts about how HD TV killed sports where here is where MLB (and all the other leagues for that matter) had better smarten up or the game will be over. I’m a sports fan. I know most of the rules in most of the games. However, shit happens in each and every game that needs explanation. There is something going on that even the most die hards of fans don’t get. We are pretty lucky in this town, we have good play by play folks for all our teams in radio and tv. The experience from my couch is fantastic. It doesn’t take 40 minutes to get a drink, the seat is comfortable and there isn’t an old fart sitting behind me asking my son to sit down when the Jays pitcher has 2 strikes on a Tigers batter. Here’s the killer; You have a beautiful tv set hanging in the arena, WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU USE IT?????????
All of the sudden in the game, Lyle Overbay is gone from first base. Vanished. At home, or in the car you would know that at first they thought he was traded then you learned he was sick. Later in the game whomever was playing centerfield for the Jays made what looked like an incredible catch in the outfield. On TV viewers at home got to see replays. Listeners on the radio would have heard all about it and then told why it wasn’t a catch. In the stadium, you get zero, zilch, nadda. We were there for the entire game, start to end. I think in total there were maybe 3 replays shown the entire night. Why do you build a huge jumbotron if all you are using it for is cheap inane promotions????
People always say that being at the game is different. You go to the games for the atmosphere. Fine, I can agree with that. I also know you don’t show controversial replays to rile up the fans… I’m sorry but that is crap. Total 100% crap. If someone pays good money to sit in the stadium or the arena and you have the benefit of a HD scoreboard- USE IT! MLB, Bud Selig or whoever else rules that replays can’t be shown is an idiot. If the decision is made locally by Rogers- then that person is an idiot. This isn’t rocket science. If the experience I get is better at home, I won’t go to the games. If I can’t follow what’s going on, and your not going to show me or tell me then I don’t care how good the atmosphere is I am staying home.
I recently heard someone from Tampa on the radio saying how the Devil Rays are mystified how, despite great promotions every night, cheap tickets and a winning team attendance sucks. The color person for the team I believe continued that the TV numbers were through the roof though. Well, I can tell you that there is no question in my mind that this part of the reason. Fine, Tampa isn’t the best stadium. I heard those guys who did 30 baseball stadiums in 30 days say it isn’t the worst either. Teams and leagues have to realize that the experience at home is really good these days. I can have my own tailgate, with my own buddy’s and I get great coverage of the games with play by play, the same commercial breaks- but no bathroom lines all in my house. If I can’t get at least that same experience at the game, why am I going to pay a lot more money to go??????
The movie industry gets it- why do you think all the new kids movies are in 3D? The only reason is that right now anyways, you can’t get that experience at home. Put any regular movie on my PS3 on my flat panel and it’s as good as any theater in the city. 3D I can’t replicate. I’d sooner pay $5-10 to rent a movie and have two or three of us watch it at home than the $45-50 it would cost to go out. But with 3D I can’t yet replicate that. So, the movie companies release everything in 3D so that I’m sucked into taking my kids. Sports leagues had better clue in or this phenomenon will continue. The umpire/official rule is ridiculous. People don’t need a replay to boo. The referees always get booed, always have always will. Show the folks in the stadiums what the folks at home see if you want to get them in to the building.