Mr. Grumpy Redux
Well, the blog entry earlier in the week criticizing the planning and execution of concession sales apparently struck a nerve.
First things first:
Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful and detailed comments. It's clear that a lot of you care about the Nats, and care about the experience that fans are having at the new park. This city has a discerning audience that's going to insist on value for its entertainment dollars, and that crowd will ultimately demand satisfaction. A careful review of the comments revealed three general categories:
The first told me to sit down, shut up and just watch the game. They generally view the game as the sole reason to attend, and food and stadium niceties seem to be irritants to be tolerated while getting in to the game. To those people, I say: I'm closer to you than you might think. But the quality of the game, and the health of the franchise, can't be divorced from the broader fan experience. I, like you, am pretty happy just sitting and watching the game, but we're probably not the fans that the Nats need to lure and keep.
The second group told me to stop being mean and critical, and how DARE I criticize the park when it's so new and shiny?!? To that set, I can only paraphrase my hero: "These are the jokes, lady; if you're waiting for Billy Graham to write something, forget about it."
And finally, the third category: Observant, caring baseball fans who want to cut the Nats some slack but have consistently been disappointed. Some examples: "Long lines are fine when you see movement behind the counter. But the staff WERE NOT working together." Or, "How can you only have 1 person working a stand during a weekend game with 32,000 in attendance?"
And, "RFK was better with respect to concessions. . . The [new stadium] had a YEAR to order tea." Even after a case of the Mondays has subsided, and the grumpiness has waned, these remain serious problems that the Nats must address. First impressions, or at least early impressions, are everything, and the Nats should be breaking their backs to fix these problems. Let's hope they're working 'round the clock while the team's away. Thanks to all of you for stepping up and doing your part to let them know it.
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Posted by: Pompous Magnus | April 16, 2008 10:30 AM
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