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Arena experience: the players


PASabreFan
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I changed the thread title to reflect that this thread should be about how the arena experience might affect the players. I think Bob Sauve's thread could be renamed "Arena experience: the fans." And some of the content in this thread could be dumped into that one.

Hey, I tried...

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Being very close with the GM of concessions at Frontier Field I can tell you that while it takes a lot of work to make it go right, but it's not impossible by any means.

The stories I am hearing (and reading) of the concessions both at KBC and BCA are indicative of an organization that clearly is struggling. If all concessions are simply outsourced to Delaware North (ie. they set the prices and simply pay rent to the arena operators) then this is not a Pegula issue so much as it is a Delaware North issue.

The question I would want answered now is how much influence the Pegula's have in the concession operations and what change they can affect.

Outside of the concessions, I agree 100% with PA on the pre-game.  It was awful. Both the Amerks and Sabres continue to be plagued by D grade talent in designing and pulling off in game operations. I watched the Caps banner raising ceremony and while you knew it would be over the top there are a few things that were done you would expect in any pre-game introduction.

The camera guy was actually on the person being introduced each time. (Not for the Sabres).

The arena announcer had energy (the Sabres announcer is terrible, absolutely horrible and should be fired).

During the player introductions the new players were introduced with "Welcome to Washington, <insert player name>".  I thought that was a nice touch.

The Sabres production looks entirely like it is thrown together 1 hour before the game starts and no one tells anyone else what is supposed to happen. These are things the Pegula's have direct control over and if they are serious about creating a top notch experience they better start rolling heads on the people who are putting this presentation together. It's terrible.

Given what people are quoting as concession prices, I am not remotely interested in attending a game regardless of how the team performs. I can watch the Sabres win and lose on TV from my house.  I go to the game for the experience of the arena, but that experience seems to be getting worse and that's an accomplishment because it was already pretty damn crappy.

For what it's worth though, the organ is brand new. They did change that over. The organ guy is on Twitter and was talking about it.

Given that PA changed the theme of this thread while I was writing this let me add...

If the fans are already surly when they enter the rink because the experience sucks. The energy in the building will be drained before the players even hit the ice. In that way I do think it will impact the team. Regardless of being a professional, the players will play that much harder when you've got an arena full of people cheering (at least until you blow up on the ice). The fans energy has an additive/subtractive impact on the players... and right now the experience is all in the subtractive column.

Edited by LTS
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4 minutes ago, LTS said:

For what it's worth though, the organ is brand new. They did change that over. The organ guy is on Twitter and was talking about it.

 

Someone should tweet back to that guy that taunting the score being out of comeback range is typically done to the opposing team.

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19 hours ago, josie said:

 

So... let's do that. But instead of a graceful descent to handoff the puck, a portly gentleman in a fading tie dyed Bills shirt and Sabres colored Zubaz plummets down a bungee cord and smashes a folding table, whilst a puck falls out of his pants. A deluge of wing sauce follows, spattering the team captains a la getting Slimed via Nickelodeon. 

Bucket list ... I’m ready.

Edited by Neo
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18 hours ago, That Aud Smell said:

Dunno.

The complaints are pretty nuts, though. Half hour for a beer. Condiment dispensers empty before the game began. And so on.

I guess these are more Delaware North issues? But, still.

Delaware North is the issue.

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19 hours ago, SDS said:

While I have no reason to doubt the complaints, I find over the top hyperbole to be an unconvincing form of argument. 

Went to get a beer during the 1st intermission up in the 300's.  At a stand that was only serving canned beer, starting at 10th in line it took over 9 minutes to get served.  The line was at least 20 people deep by the time I was heading back to my seat.  ALL the food lines near the escalator by then were stretching all the way back to the concourse.  There were a lot of people that couldn't get served during the intermission.

The concessions are always slow for the opener but this year did seem worse than normal.  Interesting to read that there were problems on the 100 level & the suites as well.

And, yes, a 24 oz beer that cost $11 last year was $12.75 this season.

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2 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

On TV, the start of the pregame ceremony looked odd. Like, it just started with very little buildup. There was some dramatic music playing, then it stopped and there was a long pause before the PA announcer started talking. It didn't look like anything was being shown on the scoreboard or the ice. On the bright side, the fans filled in with a decent Let's Go Buffalo chant. If that was the plan, well done, Sidney Pegula.

I liked the pregame.  Especially the players standing in a circle facing one another rather than on the blueline.

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2 hours ago, Eleven said:

I liked the pregame.  Especially the players standing in a circle facing one another rather than on the blueline.

That was a nice setup for the players. But the overall effect was lessened on TV by the barely-filled stadium (everyone was waiting in concession lines, we've since learned) and the only audio was the pop of the compressed air jets. "Number 23 Sam Reinhart" -- whiiiziziziz and barely a cheer from the crowd.

The best story on WGR was the guy who waited 30 minutes for chicken fingers... gets to the front of the line to order them and is told "We don't have any. The guy who makes them can't make it to the arena today." So... no one else can operate a deep fryer? C'mon people, it's opening day. The caller said he was too flabbergasted to even get angry.

But, it sounds like a time for direct action. It's unacceptable for a league that just expanded (here to Seattle! woot!) for $650M. If it takes 650 million to get into the league, then every venue must be capable of concessions, bathrooms, and ushers (for safety). Get vocal, start pre-game rallies and demonstrations (peaceful) to get the news involved (actual TV news, not sports radio), and then do planned gameday boycotts. Make it visible on the NBCSN games. The Pegulas want to be seen as civic leaders and they care about appearances. They (and their lawyers) will respond to Delaware North accordingly.

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4 hours ago, IKnowPhysics said:

 

The organ player was given a real organ instead of a keyboard.  That's a nice thing.

He had a double-keyboard set with foot pedals before.  The organ looks a lot nicer, but it's not so different from last year's rig.

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On 10/5/2018 at 3:54 PM, Kruppstahl said:

The "game night experience" on WGR-550 has blossomed to fill the entire first hour!  

Callers basically talking about poor concessions service/food quality at the building.

One caller mentioned that 20 minutes before the season opener, at a pizza stand, all the slices available looked like they had been sitting under the sofa for 3 weeks.

?

 

I went to a party at the bills field house with my buddy that used to be a cook for delaware north at the arena but knew people at stadium.  He said dont eat any thing thats supposed to be hot because they usually cook everything in morning then reheat just before event.  He asked the chef when the chicken fingers were cooked, he shook his head and said 11. It was 8pm

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13 hours ago, Eleven said:

He had a double-keyboard set with foot pedals before.  The organ looks a lot nicer, but it's not so different from last year's rig.

Last year's organ is in that tweet thread.  It was pitiful compared to what he has now.  It was essentially a synth last year.  I am sure I could be biased but on the broadcast it sounds better this year too.  It has a richer sound.

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23 hours ago, Taro T said:

Went to get a beer during the 1st intermission up in the 300's.  At a stand that was only serving canned beer, starting at 10th in line it took over 9 minutes to get served.  The line was at least 20 people deep by the time I was heading back to my seat.  ALL the food lines near the escalator by then were stretching all the way back to the concourse.  There were a lot of people that couldn't get served during the intermission.

The concessions are always slow for the opener but this year did seem worse than normal.  Interesting to read that there were problems on the 100 level & the suites as well.

And, yes, a 24 oz beer that cost $11 last year was $12.75 this season.

Perhaps the issue was due to their computer point-of-sale system.  Maybe they installed new software, upgraded or were having server issues.  If 1 or 2 concession stands were backed up that could be a personnel issue but if numerous stands were slow it could be a system-wide thing.  Might also answer why in-seat ordering was taking forever also.

As to the quality, I can't speak to that.  If I go to the arena I never buy anything other than MAYBE a coffee.  I won't pay the ridiculous prices.  I'll stop on the way home to calm my nerves after dealing with the traffic exiting the area AND the crazies on 190 and 90 - oops THE 190.

 

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1 hour ago, LTS said:

Last year's organ is in that tweet thread.  It was pitiful compared to what he has now.  It was essentially a synth last year.  I am sure I could be biased but on the broadcast it sounds better this year too.  It has a richer sound.

He and I talked in between periods about his rig at the meerup last year.  I can’t wait to hear the new one, but unless it is a pipe organ (it isn’t), there is not a sound that it is capable of that the old one wasn’t.  He is just using different patches is all.

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7 minutes ago, ROC_EMT said:

Perhaps the issue was due to their computer point-of-sale system.  Maybe they installed new software, upgraded or were having server issues.  If 1 or 2 concession stands were backed up that could be a personnel issue but if numerous stands were slow it could be a system-wide thing.  Might also answer why in-seat ordering was taking forever also.

As to the quality, I can't speak to that.  If I go to the arena I never buy anything other than MAYBE a coffee.  I won't pay the ridiculous prices.  I'll stop on the way home to calm my nerves after dealing with the traffic exiting the area AND the crazies on 190 and 90 - oops THE 190.

 

The pos system had issues last year.  Not sure if that's the same or not, but it definitely is a component of the problem.

Seems a large part of the problem, especially for opening night is poor training.  Service is ALWAYS slow the 1st handful of games.  This isn't a one off issue.

And when the bathroom lines are shorter than the concession lines, there's issues.

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3 hours ago, Eleven said:

He and I talked in between periods about his rig at the meerup last year.  I can’t wait to hear the new one, but unless it is a pipe organ (it isn’t), there is not a sound that it is capable of that the old one wasn’t.  He is just using different patches is all.

It's more than that.  It's certainly electronic and as such there will be something missing compared to a full on pipe organ.  However, there is a large difference between the proprietary algorithms and sounds used by different manufacturers.

That said.. the Lowrey Rialto (which is what he has now) is a full on organ with built in speakers.  This is nothing like a Nord Stage 2, which while certainly not a piece of garbage, is going to rely on an external speaker, etc.  This in and of itself will vary nature the of the sound.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, LTS said:

It's more than that.  It's certainly electronic and as such there will be something missing compared to a full on pipe organ.  However, there is a large difference between the proprietary algorithms and sounds used by different manufacturers.

That said.. the Lowrey Rialto (which is what he has now) is a full on organ with built in speakers.  This is nothing like a Nord Stage 2, which while certainly not a piece of garbage, is going to rely on an external speaker, etc.  This in and of itself will vary nature the of the sound.

 

 

Nerd alert ?. ?

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