We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.

It seems so simple to me, but I guess the architects and engineers just can't figure it out, or they must be a lot smarter than I am.

Curious what I'm referring to?  Stadiums.  Football, baseball, etc.  Places you go to watch sporting events at.

I can't figure out why stadium designers lay the stadiums out with such disregard for the people that will be in the stands, and with such disregard to the vendors that might service the fans sitting in those stands.

Still can't figure it out?

Here's my beef.  Thanks to a very generous friend, I went to the Redskins vs. Lions game today at FedEx field.  A stadium built approx. 10 years ago (for the 1997 season actually), so it is a stadium that is fairly new and should have been built with the fans in mind.  The owner of the team at the time certainly thought that was the case (the dearly departed squire: Jack Kent Cooke) as he paid to have the stadium built with his own money (plus a few dollars in state of Maryland money, plus Prince Georges County money for infrastructure needs).

The current owner, Daniel Snyder, and his marketing machine claims that is the case (that fans are in mind) as he squeezes all the more fans into the stands all over the place (to the tune of approximately 92,000 fans per game, give or take a few thousand fans).

... more in the comments area.  Please continue reading there.


Comments
on Oct 07, 2007

... continued from main article.  Thanks for continuing to read here.

But I disagree with that claim a little and here is why - if you go to a game and sit in the stands, especially if you are in the top level of the top deck, you realize that you have a heckuva hike to get your tail up to the rows of seats that are up there, and once you do get there, good freakin' luck in any hopes to see any vendors make their way up to your seats.  In my friends case, the tickets he has are near the top of the top deck.  By the time you walk up there, there's a total of about 5 rows left, and over 20 rows between you and the concourse level where you enter the section you'll be sitting in.

I don't understand why the designers of that stadium, and other modern stadiums, don't design the stadiums such that there's another concourse up at the very top level of the stands that would offer fans the ability to hopefully take an elevator or escalator all the way up to the very top of the stadium where they could then fairly easily take a walk down the stairs to get to their seats.  (Something not currently possible at FedEx field as the elevators are reserved primarily for handicapped usage, and even then there aren't enough of them to really service the stadium adequately.)  Worse still, the number of areas that are easily handicapped accessible on the concourse level for the top deck are no where near what they should be.

If the stadium had an extra concourse level at the very top, the team could place more handicapped accessible seating up there (though they would likely hear tons of complaints that the handicapped accessible seats would then be the worst seating in the place, way too far from the action) and at a minimum the fans in the upper deck would be looking at having much more convenient access to those seats.

The worst part to me, regardless of easy access to the seats up there, is that the vendors have almost no chance to get up to the seats there.  By the time they walk past the people in the lower areas of the top deck, they've been emptied out of inventory completely.  They never have any product left to take up to the top rows to sell, so the customers sitting in those seats are left under-served, or they have to march up and down the stairs, blocking people's view of the game action, to take spots in the lines for the various concession stands.

I'd like to think that the new National's stadium will be better in the way that seats are accessed.  Perhaps that will be the case, but I'm not counting on it.  I guess I'll know in April, come opening day in the new park.  For some reason I imagine that I'll be complaining about something there (probably the accessibility from the Metro station which is apparently not going to be completely upgraded and ready come opening day), but I hope not.

on Oct 08, 2007

I suspect it is the Queueing theory.  They look at who buys and where, and make sure they are accessible.  For the most part, those in the nosebleed sections can barely afford the price of the ticket, and sure aren't going to pay for the outrageous prices for the other stuff.

But having been to a total of (less than the fingers on one hand) pro top tier sporting events, I can only guess.  As I dont live in a major market, I only get to them when I travel - and next year I plan on being in SD when the raiders are in town! (my inlaws, save one, are SD fans - but I will buy the beer if they get the tickets!).

on Oct 08, 2007

I suspect it is the Queueing theory. They look at who buys and where, and make sure they are accessible. For the most part, those in the nosebleed sections can barely afford the price of the ticket, and sure aren't going to pay for the outrageous prices for the other stuff.

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that thought, but if you are sitting in the stadium, at all, for a Redskins game then you've spent a pretty penny and I'd have to say that even the people in the very last row are normally arriving ready to spend a ton of their money on buying brewski to down during the game.

Not getting vendors up to those top seats is costing the team owner and the vending company a fair amount of money that they could have if they could figure out how to send twice as many vendors out, or if they had convenient access there to send vendors into the stands from both directions.

on Oct 08, 2007

normally arriving ready to spend a ton of their money on buying brewski to down during the game.

See ,that is where I dont know.  I have been to a few.  And actually in every case good seats (some given, others buoght for a price I was willing to pay).  I can only assume that those in the nose bleed section cant spend a lot more, while those who fork over hundreds have hundreds more to spend.

And no, I am not moving to a big city to test the theory!

on Oct 08, 2007

See ,that is where I dont know. I have been to a few. And actually in every case good seats (some given, others buoght for a price I was willing to pay). I can only assume that those in the nose bleed section cant spend a lot more, while those who fork over hundreds have hundreds more to spend.


And no, I am not moving to a big city to test the theory!

Well, the problem I have described above applies fairly equally to all of the sections and all of the tiers in the stadiums.  The problem pretty much applies to whomever is farthest away from the entries to the concourses, whether those people are sitting in the lower bowl (very expensive seats) or upper bowl (cheap seats).  If the entries to the seats (from the concourses) are at the top of the section (which is normally the case in the lower bowls) than the fans that are sitting in the very front rows wind up missing out on many visits from the vendors because the vendors just don't get down to those rows without being molested by all of the fans along the way down to those rows.  The farther you sit from the concourse entries, the less likely you are to have a vendor get to your seats while they still have product to vend.

Staggering the entries to the concourses and having some at the top of the stands, and some at the bottoms, or at least setting the concourse entries about mid-level for that section of stands, is about the only way to make sure that the vendors working those stands have a shot at getting to the fans there while still carrying a full tray of wares.

on Oct 08, 2007
BTW Dr Guy, I still don't know for sure how the new stadium is laid out for the Nationals, but I hope you get a chance to get to a game there with me
on Oct 09, 2007

but I hope you get a chance to get to a game there with me

Yea, I would like that - at least one of us (not me) would be happy with the outcome of the game.

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