How NOT to host an event…

While attending the Monday Night Football game in Shreveport was fun (Cowboy’s Won!), the management of the event was horrendous.

First, all of the fans were funneled through a parking lot that was crossed with a huge chain-link fence, leaving only a ten foot wide gap for 45,000 people to funnel into. Even worse, once that mass finally got through the opening there were no defined lines. There were no instructions given until you had waited in whatever “line” you were in long enough to get to the “front”. Only then were women told they had to go to yet another line – effectively splitting groups apart – with little hope of them finding each other again until they got to their seats (assuming their seats actually existed – see further below).

Here is an image of the stadium – the push-pin shows where the ten foot gap was. If you click on the image and zoom in, you can even make out the fence.

Since everyone is so paranoid concerned about security, I decided to leave my digital camera and binoculars at the hotel. I did bring my cell phone.

I should not have worried – there were no metal detectors, not even wands. For men, “security” consisted of each of us having to hold our arms straight out to the side while we were hand-frisked. Sort of. Nobody was patted down below the waste – I could easily have had an ankle-holster on each leg, and a few grenades in my pockets.

Oh – but they were confiscating umbrellas!

Once inside, finding seats was almost impossible – all of the event staff I talked to told me the same thing – “I don’t know anything about this stadium – we’re all from Dallas”! So after wandering a bit, we finally found our seats – and they came outfitted with two large gentlemen that were very pleasant, and having a very good time. Seems they bought their tickets online and were given seats OO-7 and OO-8. We had NN-7 and NN-8. There were no such seats as OO-7 and OO-8 – that complete section was replaced with a platform for wheelchairs. Later I heard several other people also bought seats online that really didn’t exist. Very sloppy.

The thought of 45 thousand-plus people all leaving at the same time, and trying to squeeze through that ten foot gap didn’t make us feel very comfortable, so we left the game early – just a few minutes before it started raining.

We did enjoy the game – everyone we met was friendly (as were all of the locals we met in Shreveport) – but the event was managed about as poorly as anything I have ever seen.