Leonsis: no stage lighting at Wizards games
Back when Ted Leonsis broke the news about the incoming urinal cup-holders at Verizon Center, he promised hundreds more changes, including this one: "we want to change the lighting; that's something we're looking into, so it's more traditional, like the Garden and L.A."
Well, that effort failed, at least for the upcoming season. And Leonsis immediately explained what happened, and offered an apology, on his blog.
First off, the process would take four months, so there isn't enough time before the season starts. But also, Verizon Center's roof can apparently hold about 125,000 pounds of weight, and the current scoreboard, lights and rock-show lights can run as much as 105,000 together. The stage lighting get-up weighs another 45,000, pushing the total well over the max, and Leonsis said he also wants to add a new sound system, which would add even more weight. And he said the lighting would require a second line of power, which would be "a step back in our movement to be more ecologically sensitive."
That means, at least for this season, no stage lighting. And that news comes with an apology:
"So -- I believe we shall stand down on this new lighting as a deliverable for next season. We will work to find alternative ways to light the building in a more programmed fashion....I am sorry I couldn't deliver on this one -- we still are working hard on literally hundreds of other changes; but I wanted everyone to know where we are on this one; I will report on our successes and I will report on our failures. I failed you all on this one."
"I am sorry" are not words that pro sports owners very often say to their fans, so it seems worth noting. Well done.
On the other hand, I'll go ahead and disagree with Leonsis's assertion that the beer choice at Verizon Center is just fine, thanks very much. He apparently was sent several notes complaining about the lack of variety in Verizon Center beers, and responded with the complete list of 52 offerings, adding that on this issue, the arena is "good to go."
I'd point out that including 13 garbage domestics does a whole lot to lessen that variety, especially when so many of the others are owned by the big 3 domestics. And it's one thing to say the arena sells Starr Hill and Old Dominion, but another to find them. Maybe the suggestion in his comments -- a beer map available on the arena's Web site -- could solve that problem. And maybe you don't need to have high-quality microbrews in order to enjoy a Caps or Wizards game. But having a lot of different types of bad beer doesn't mean you have a great selection. Maybe some beer experts could weigh in on his list.
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