Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Olmedo Saenz Pavilion Backpedaling Commences

Beep! Beep! Beep!

That's the sound of the Dodgers' truck, backing up on their recently announced plans to change the right-field pavilion to an all-you-can-eat ticket. From the team-operated blog Inside the Dodgers comes this tidbit over the weekend:

We certainly appreciate everyone's opinions on the all-you-can-eat right field pavilion and for those who aren't big on the concept, all I can do is ask you to be patient and see how it turns out. I can assure all of you, though, that this is definitely not a gimmick to try and depress the number of seats available "like the tarp in Oakland." If we didn't think this would be successful, we wouldn't be doing it just for kicks and to move people from one pavilion to the other.

A couple things to keep in mind. First, there are a huge number of nights when the right field pavilion is not normally opened, so on all those nights the people who prefer the RFP to the LFP still move to the LFP. But most importantly, I really think people should know that this is not the team's attempt to see who can eat the most food or get their money's worth out there. While this has garnered insane amounts of media coverage (not by design, actually), from the Today Show to CNN to local sports talk radio and the whole blogosphere, this truly isn't an eating contest. The truth is, the majority of seats that are purchased in the RFP during the season go to large groups like Little Leagues, AYSO soccer, company outings, etc. For any group over 30, the cost of the AYCE seats are only $20 and I think we can all pretty much agree that at that price, the fan is getting a great deal that can't be found almost anywhere else in the entertainment world (i.e. the movies, a hockey game, etc.)

There's a reason why this has generated "insane amounts" of media coverage. It's because it's a freakin' bad idea. The fact that this isn't found in many other venues doesn't reflect the innovative beauty of the concept. Au contraire. It's that the concept further contributes to the nation's obesity epidemic. It's that even the fan who tries the pavilion out will still face the legendarily long food lines. It's that even when sitting back down on the pavilion benches, buckling under the weight of the porkers in the seats, they won't be able to see the game (thanks to people standing up to go get more food every ten seconds), nor will they be able to exit their seats (thanks to the layers of fat spilling over from adjacent rows). It's from the madness that will ensue once the first person figures out that Dodger Dogs make pretty good projectiles, either to pelt a right fielder or bullpen pitcher, or even to airmail over to people in the main pavilion. Or the hundreds of other reasons cited by others on why this is a bad idea.

Inside the Dodgers has two other non-team-authorized (at least, I believe they are non-team-authorized) blogs linked over from its main page. I'm guessing Sons of Steve Garvey won't become the third anytime soon.

But I'm just trying to make sure that, as the Dodgers' marketing department backpedals on this concept, they don't run over the 350-pound fans along the way.


Orel said...

This is a freakin' excellent post.