No-shows worrisome to Steelers, NFL
No-shows worrisome to Steelers, NFL
September 13, 2013
By Bob Smizik
Here's what it would take to get me to a Steelers game at Heinz Field:
• Limousine picks me up at my front door; drops me off at my gate at the stadium 15-30 minutes before kickoff.
• Elevator whisks me to the private box near the 50-yard line where my free seat is located.
• Persons with tickets to the private box must be approved by me.
• Private box must be stocked with a full bar and Yuengling and Dogfish. Wings and pizza will be available the entire pre-game and during the game.
• Upon the conclusion of the game, or when I decide to leave, the elevator will whisk me to ground level where my limo will be waiting to take me home -- well ahead of the legendary traffic jam.
If that offer is not forthcoming, I will stay at home and watch on my HD TV.
There was a time when I would not have been so free in admitting my aversion for mixing with the masses at Heinz Field for fear of being labeled un-American or, worse, old.
Nowadays, however, I proudly assert my belief that Heinz Field is no place to watch a Steelers game. There's a growing body of people -- millions -- who believe the NFL game-day experience is more enjoyable away from the site of the game. That's what 50-inch high def TVs will do.
It is, of course, more than that. It's a hassle to go to any crowded event -- parking, traffic, bathroom access, price of concessions, concession lines, price of ticket, availability of ticket, etc. And, face it, there can be people who drank too much, as in being drunk, sitting close by at NFL games and such people have been known to be annoying and/or belligerent.
Why not watch at home? Or at a bar with multiple gigantic TVs?
Why not have multiple replays of controversial calls? And expert opinion from commentators? And on a cold day, warmth?
The reasons to stay away from the site far outnumbers those that might attract one to an NFL stadium. This is nothing against fans who love the thrill of being there. More power to them. To each his own. Actually, I owe them a bit. Watching at home wouldn't be much fun if the game were played to an empty house.
There were 5,000 no-shows Sunday at the Steelers opener. That has to alarm the Steelers and the NFL, which is openly concerned about fans preferring the game-day experience away from the site of the game. If the Steelers lose Monday night at Cincinnati, not an unlikely prospect, it will be interesting to see how many fans stay home for the 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22 game against the Chicago Bears.
A friend who has season tickets since 1973 got tired of the hassle. He wanted to sell his tickets at face value and keep his seat license. He sold the tickets, but not as easily as you might expect.
The NFL is trying to do more to make the on-site experience a better one and equal to the the ease, comfort and savings of watching at home or a bar. But it's not an easy job. In fact, it's an impossible job.
Interesting article. I am wondering if those 5K were owned by companies or corporations.
At the same time on TV there seems to always be a lot of yellow seats at 1:00 PM games.
Hall of Famer
I go to a lot of games, am thankful I was physically present for some big wins, but have gotten home from a lot exhausted from the hassles he outlined with an empy wallet saying I should have watched at home.
2 hours before game time tickets on stubhub where as low as $13.
$80 and your on the field.
1) Disappointing 2012 season.
4) 0-4 pre season.
5) The wussification of football.
6) Unlikeable athletes.
7) Ticket and concession prices.
Those are just some factors for the fan to consider when allocating their moneys
I love going to games. Even more since I moved away from Pittsburgh. The whole experience energizes me. The drive through the tunnels. The view of the city. I feel like a little kid every time I step foot into the city.
The walk across the bridge or the boat ride across the river. The crisp cool air. Interacting with the crazies in their black and gold. Waving my towel with the nation. The thought brings a smile to my face just thinking about it right now.
Not to mention the football. There are just things you can't see on tv. Live games bring a whole new level to the appreciation of the sport. It's not possible to see a guy like Troy's talent on tv. That guy alone is worth the price of admission. You miss the Roethlisberger experience on tv. Watching on tv, I can see him being elusive in the pocket. But I can't see what he sees on the rest of the field. TV misses 90% of the game because it's so singularly focused on following the ball.
I do think the NFL could enhance the live experience with better use of technology. We've gotten so addicted to instantaneous access to any info we want at all times. And it's not so easy to pull out the iPad at the stadium when it's cold or rainy. It's not so easy to follow twitter or listen to the radio broadcast or even chat with the planetsteelers gang. So there is a legit information gap while at the stadium. And there are some niceties that I miss like access to food/beverage and bathrooms. And there's the time investment of getting to the game. But it's a trade off. And to me it's like an escape to a simpler time. And that's the biggest joy of going to a game imho.
If you are not going to show, give your tickets away. There are 1000s that would gladly take them off your hands. For every person that hates the hassel, 100 more would love the opportunity to go to a game. This is a silly article. They should deport this guy from Pittsburgh
Hall of Famer
When I was younger, I'd go to more live events. I'd love to take my kids to some games, BUT, the biggest factor for me is dealing with drunk, unruly fans. The last WVU game we all attended my wife had beer poured all over her from the upper deck. Needless to say, I then became unruly as a response to such ridiculous behavior. I came close to being arrested by a State Trooper who wouldn't kick the drunk SOBs out of the game. I have no problem with fans having beers at the game, but when it becomes an issue of safety for my family, I'm staying home. And as others have said, it's very expensive to attend these games anyways, so you expect to be able to watch the game without people fighting and spilling stinking beer all over you. There's not another venue where you can drink out in public and act this way without being hauled off to jail. I honestly would have a very difficult time talking my wife into going to another college or pro game. I went to a NASCAR event at Talladega last spring and it wasn't as bad as the last few football games I've been to. So, that says alot....LOL.
It is a VERY interesting topic, because it begs discussion of the potential viability of these monstrous corporate stadiums long-trem. I've felt the same way for years (not enjoying going to games live), for all the same reasons. IMO, going to games live is simply a relic of a by-gone era. Back in those days, you had to go because: a) games on TV didn't compare, and b) they weren't even showing your game.
But as said, the home experience is definitely comparable and offers distinct advantages (i.e. COMFORT, cost) that can't be argued. YET... and this is a huge point--the cost to go to a game has continued to RISE. I don't even think it is about bringing more technology to the stadium experience. To me, that actually has very little to do with it. The problem is that these corporate monsters try to discourage any freedom that we (as consumers) can enjoy, for the overall sake of making money.
They want to take away (or at least minimize tailgating), to boost their own food/drink sales. Here in LA (stadium proposal), they're trying to make the stadium non-tailgate friendly. They don't allow you to bring your own bags in anymore (they have to be in clear bags). You are confined to your own seat obviously...
It all works against your enjoyment, this corporate mentality. You can look at any corporatized environment. I was just in Vegas... and I love Vegas. But it isn't what it once was, because the corporations took overa long time ago and have destroyed most simple ways to have fun. Everything now is about how to create a sterilized environment (limiting liabilities), and making the most money off us (the consumer) that they can.
Hall of Famer
You nailed it Shoe. As soon as Allegheny County passed the drink tax I told my coworkers, friends, and family that tailgating would be a thing of the past. They are going to replace the lots with restaurants/bars and parking garages. Once there are only garages to park in, which won't be long, those garages will be patrolled by cops. If you are sitting in your car waiting to walk to the stadiums listening to pregames and having a few they will get you for DUI. If you stand by your car with a beer they will get you for open container. They are going to force you into the restaurants/bars if you want to 'tailgate' with friends prior to the game so they can fleece you for .30 cents (10% tax) per beer, yet the residents of the county won't see a cent of that in tangible benefits of the tax.
then, after being forced into bars like sardines, you will get to walk to the stadium gates and wait in half hour long lines for the security staff to go through your stuff, only to finally pass the gates then get funneled to you seats like livestock, taking half steps the entire walk cause if you take a full stride you will run into someone.
To me watching football is something fun to do with family and friends where you can make a nice tailgate spread, play some cornhole, listen to some music, then enjoy the game. It is much more enjoyable to do that at home where I have my own beer, my own food, a bathroom 10 feet away with no line, no drunks swearing around my wife and kid, and the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward on my 60" HD TV.
The glamour of being treated like a livestock animal carrying a wallet to go watch overpaid thugs and deviants who make more that one game then I will make this year doesn't come close to the comfort of watching at home.
Pirate games are a different story for me. Weather is nice, tickets are cheap, and I can't recall the last Pirate I have heard getting into trouble with the law or making a total A-hole of themselves. Few and far between and most scummy things you hear are nothing compared to NFL players. Derek Bells Operation Shutdown, Randall Simon jokingly hitting a racing sausage, Nyjer Morgans douchebaggery? We got guys accused of rape, going on rampages on the southside, beating chicks up, tweating about rap music moments after playoff losses, wearing 'free the murderer' hats......all while playing a sissified version of the game we all love. The shine has turned to tarnish for me....and I am only speaking for myself.
I think this issue has more to do with the cost of the games, including concessions. It's bad enough that teams rape wallets just to attend games. When the team loses, performs poorly, doesn't win, or has a bad season that only adds to the misery for fans who spend money to attend games. I don't believe most fans get enjoyment from games commensurate with their hard earned money. The prices will increase for fans if the NFL adds more technology to the game day experience.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
I've seen this before !
Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL
In fact I've seen this in Pittsburgh many times before and it all comes down to how well the team plays...period ! The hassle and the cost is only magnified by the poor play and lack of excitement. This team can overcome a general lack of enthusiasm by winning ......and winning games brings fans to stadiums.
Working against poor performing teams is, as stated, a great venue in front of familiar surroundings coupled with creature comforts and above all......it's a lot more affordable.