Tickets and Seating - Attention Mr. Zack

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by weasel, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. weasel

    weasel New Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    NYC
    Since everyone else seems to be getting a response regarding their problems at games, I thought this would be a good way to finally get a response out of DCU.

    The problem: Seat hoppers/squatters in season ticket holder seats.

    I have two full season ticket packages in section 307 (VIP seating on the "quiet" side, at midfield), which I've held since 1997. (6 years - plus attending 1996 as a walkup)

    For that entire period, I've been forced to boot people out of my seats at almost every game. In addition, numerous other fans are forced to constantly kick squatters out of their seats before and during the game. I'm getting fed up with this for two reasons.

    First of all, I have supported this team for 7 years by purchasing high-priced seating, only to have seat-hoppers sitting in my seats, or elsewhere in that section. Apparently it's not a problem for someone to buy a $16 ticket, and sit wherever they want.

    Secondly, having people constantly moving around while they kick out seat-hoppers throughout the game often results in missing goals and big saves - the kind of thing I bought tickets to see in the first place. The seat-hoppers invariably stand around and force other fans to move so they can find new seats in the same section that they still don't belong in. The hoppers also tend to have friends swing by and squeeze in so they can enjoy the game too, again preventing paying fans from enjoying the game.

    Is it too much to ask for people to sit in the seats they were assigned? Is it too much to ask for DCU to show some respect to the fans who pay good money for decent seats by not taking advantage of them?

    In the last two games, they have started to check tickets at the portals. All this accomplishes is forcing the hoppers to walk from the endlines to the middle of the park using the walkway inside the stadium. Is is that difficult to grasp the concept of creating a perimiter between seating sections and checking anyone wanting to pass?

    I'm fed up with the situation, and do not plan on attending games in the future unless this problem is addressed. If seating is not going to be enforced, why not charge a single price for general admission?

    Before anyone accuses me of class-warfare, all I want is a fair ticketing and seating system at RFK. I believe you should pay for what you get. I know I could but the $16 tickets and move around at will - just because that evens the field, I don't think it makes it the right thing to do. I'm tired of being ripped off, and being told by DCU staffers at the games that the situation is being looked at. I've been more than patient about this crap, but my patience has finally run out. My message to DCU - stop taking advantage of the fans.
     
  2. Lowecifer

    Lowecifer Member+

    Jan 11, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Belgium
    elitist














    I kid!
    ;) :D

    That would piss me off to no end.
     
  3. bofahey

    bofahey Member

    Sep 1, 2001
    Washington, DC
    I also sit in the VIP seats on the quiet side--section 206. I've noticed the same thing. In fact, my wife constantly asks me why we just don't switch our season tickets to the lower priced seats and then move over like everyone else.

    I agree that it might be more efficient if the ticket check took place in the bowl, as opposed by the entrance from the concourse, as people just walk over on the inner walkway. An inner-section check was done for the first half of the LA Galaxy game and worked very well. However, the usher left at halftime and many people hopped seats at that point.

    In any event, as I explained to my wife, it's worth paying the extra money as far as I'm concerned so that I don't have to constantly sneak around past ushers looking for empty rows. Besides, DCU gives season ticket holders a pretty nice per-game discount, so at the end of the day, I'm not really paying much more than most of the seat hoppers anyway.
     
  4. Topo

    Topo Member

    Feb 15, 2001
    I think the theory is that when we sell out our sections, there won't be any place for the seat hoppers to go.

    It hasn't been working very well for us either. We're the only season ticket holders in our section.
     
  5. weasel

    weasel New Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    NYC
    Without getting up to find my tickets right now, I think we get them for $22, which is $4 off.

    So $22 - $16 = $6 ripoff per game
    At least 14 games = 6*14 = $ 84 / year

    $84 * 6 seasons = $504 overpayment for tix (not considering playoffs and special events)

    If DCU wants to cut me a check we can call it even.

    Basically, I'm pissed about getting taken advantage of, and having to deal with a bunch of punk free-loaders screwing around during the game. Annoyed enough that I'd rather not bother going to games.
     
  6. bofahey

    bofahey Member

    Sep 1, 2001
    Washington, DC
    For the record, I believe we paid $21 this year (if you bought by mid-fall--if not it was $22) and the face value is $28.

    Regardless, I see your point and agree that you have a right to be pissed.
     
  7. LuvinSantino

    LuvinSantino New Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Oak Hill, Virginia
    ..

    you guys are overreacting quite a bit..its not DCU's fault..its the lazy people that work at RFK that don't check people's tickets, so yell at them
     
  8. GrillMaster

    GrillMaster Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm sure SZack will respond, because he has made it clear that seat hopping will not be tolerated. Remember that DCU is just a tenant in the Sports Authority's stadium. It is to the SA that you should complain.

    Presumably there is an "usher" at the entrance to each section checking stubs. So maybe some muscle could be better applied if the usher's olive branch doesn't work. If you do complain, please suggest that the beefed-up seat checking occur only in those premium seats. If they have to increase ticket prices to pay for the added security in the quiet side seats, I imagine most would pay it willingly.

    Be careful what you ask for, however. The security people need very little prompting to go off on a power trip. We are quite tired of dealing with Security power trips in the Nest (and just above it, apparently).

    Checking tickets at portals is screwy anyway. As I'm usually walking into the stadium as the game gets underway (after storing the tailgate equipment), I like to walk around the inside ring in order to see the game. The portal concept would seem to prohibit that.

    I understand your frustration, but why don't you and your neighbors do a little neighborhood watch action and alert security to interlopers when they enter the area?? Have you considered passing the hat to tip the successful usher (i.e., one who keeps interlopers from interloping)? Help each other out -- seems like there is a common 'enemy'. {Note that I am not suggesting becoming vigilanties!]

    GM
     
  9. liverbird

    liverbird BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 29, 2000
    Mars
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Seems like a good idea but the reality is that people sit wherever they like. I sit in 208 (all seven years with two seasons seats). We back up each other in tossing out people who sit in the seats of long time seatholders. Saturday was the record. My son and I went in to watch warmups and three people were in our seats plus the one next to us. We kicked them out. Before the start of the game we went to the head and to get food --- when we returned another pair was in our seats. We kicked them out. We went to the head at half time and guess what, when we returned another pair had taken our seats. One group was Anglo kids, another Latino young men, and finally a pair of yuppie looking thirty somethings! An equal opportunity bunch. All apparently bought the cheapest seats and then took ours. Kicking each out just caused them to move to other expensive seats. Like the Weasel I feel like a fool for paying full price. What say you, Mr.Zack?
     
  10. RMDad

    RMDad New Member

    Nov 15, 2001
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    Don't feel bad, yall, it's everywhere in the Stadium.
    Even in Club seating I have had to move squatters along from my seat, or my friends. This has happened at least 4 games.
    On one hand, you can have the Ushers like the woman that takes everyone to tier seat for each game, or, you get lax and lazy that don't check at all. Finding a sensical medium in the District is a bit difficult at times.
    Mark
     
  11. Rick77

    Rick77 Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is ridiculous. There are so many better reasons to stop coming to United games: our inability to score, the officiating... :D

    Personally, I love it when someone is sitting in the seat I paid for; I get the power-trip of kicking them out! I wonder if the Stadium Authority is hiring.... :D
     
  12. ZackDCU

    ZackDCU New Member

    Sep 28, 2001
    Once again I am sorry for the problems with seat hopping. We have been trying to deal with this for 7 years. I believe the latest system has been the most successful but unfortunately we have to deal with some issues that will not go away. The first relates to how the stadium is set up. Unlike most new stadiums that have sections that are separated by aisles from top to bottom, RFK has uneven sections with aisles that lead into and around sections. It makes it much hard to police for people who like to move around. The only way to stop it in total would be to staff every entry and cross aisle. I'm afraid that is a bit too costly for the number of people that atend regularly. We have recently begun staffing the cross aisles that lead out of the spectator section and I believe the situation has improved.

    The other problem is the staff that work the games. We have discussed this with RFK and we have tried to improve the quality of the staff that serve as ushers and security. Again while I see improvements we still have a way to go.

    As with everything, we try to respond to these issues as best we can as quickly as we can. I have asked that people inform ushers or security when there are problems. If they do not deal with the problem I ask that people get the usher or security person's badge number so that we can report them. Security is asked to make sure seat hoppers move to their correct seats if they are asked twice they are to be threatened with expulsion, then expelled if necessary.

    The flip side is with those who like to have less security such as in Barra Brava and La Norte. They complain when security does their job in this regard. It is hard for us to say to security enforce this here and not there. We will continue to ask for improvements.

    Finally, I would ask those that have had repeated problems with seat hoppers to e-mail me directly with their seat locations (szack@mlsnet.com). I will ask RFK to make sure that we have ushers policing those sections more diligently. Again as always, the more informationwe have the easier it is for us to help.

    Thanks,
    Stephe
     
  13. sebakoole

    sebakoole New Member

    Jul 11, 2002
    Whenever I go to a game with my dad and somebody is sitting in our seats he always says the same thing. "Hey, thanks for keeping the riff-raff out of our seats" and gives them an ironic wink. The seat-stealers are invariably more embarrassed by his tongue in cheek diplomacy than they would be had he gotten angry.
     
  14. seahawkdad

    seahawkdad Spoon!!!

    Jun 2, 2000
    Lincoln, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ah ha!!! So that's what's causing our scoring drought.

    Seat-hopper generated movement is causing our team to miss goals...

    Oh, you mean the movement means the fans can't see the goals.

    Well, there aren't any to see.

    But I agree with the gripe.

    Interestingly, a few games ago my family and I bought some pretty expensive seats which were back under the overhang, oppressively hot and wall to wall people. So we tried to move to cheaper seats and were stopped by the Security staff.

    We finally made our way to some seats in the low priced area and enjoyed the game--if you more to the $16 seats no one will challenge.
     
  15. weasel

    weasel New Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    NYC
    I don't think it should be my responsibility to deal with the squatters. If that's going to be the case, why have event staff? A few times we've gotten pissed enough to force the ushers to check tickets of people that aren't regulars in our section and that has generally gone sour - squatters don't like to be tossed and I figure it's only a matter of time before someone gets violent.

    The usual response is to blame the Stadium Authority. Pathetic excuse in my book, but that's the standard response I've come to expect from DCU. Unfortunately, there's a limit to the amount of mediocrity I can put up with when attending a game at RFK.

    Finally, I find it infuriating that the only reason they have made any effort to control seating recently is the potentially dangerous behavior of the Salvadoran hooligan minority. Since there haven't been any incidents, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before security returns to it's usual lax state. How typical that the possibility of a lawsuit will get them to do something, but taking care of the fans is unimportant.
     
  16. Lietmotiv

    Lietmotiv New Member

    Sep 3, 2001
    Northern VA
    Try comng up to the 400's section. Great view. They check the tickets up there a lot more than downstairs and I'm in the second row up there at the 50 yard line and have only had one person sitting there in 4 years. I was 20 minutes late too.

    My suggestion is to show up before the game starts so you are not blocking the view of others when the game has already started.
     
  17. McOwen

    McOwen Member

    Jun 13, 2000
    Retirement Community
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    It sounds more like your just pissed off and nothing anyone can say or do will make you happy. Relax. its just a seat. The vast majority of people seem to be able to settle down somewhere (other then in your seat) and enjoy themselves (team aside). If you want to fault DC United for everything the Stadium Authority does (and more importantly the PRIVATELY CONTRACTED hacks at CSC Event staff) thats fine. Your just being irrational and unrealistic. CSC is hired by the Stadium Authority. They are a private company, no different then the type of people/companies you run into with airport security. They are NOT part of the city, and the company is hired to work security in stadiums as far away as LA Galaxy games. DC United can bitch and moan all they want, they will get some results but the fact of the matter is we are stuck with this gang until they get a better deal or have the actual financial power of a team like the Redskins. (GEE... Maybe Jack Kent Cooke wasnt as dumb as people thought moving to Maryland...) From what I have seen DC United could move to West Va. if i thought it would get us someone other then CSC. --Until then if you want to support DC United you may just have to suck up your pride a little and just ask for an usher. Sure its annoying but to me thats a small price to pay for the enjoyment I get from my favorite team.
     
  18. Topo

    Topo Member

    Feb 15, 2001
    It's never taken longer than 10-15 seconds to move interlopers out of our seats. Then, they go sit in somebody else's seats (probably not their own).
     
  19. das_Eigentor

    das_Eigentor New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Hyattsville, MD
    i just want to go on record saying that I haven't had ANY trouble with seat-hoppers in my seats. But then again, my seats are in the "cheapo" $16 section - 217. I really like my seats and the section is usually pretty empty, so I can stand, cheer, act like an idiot, etc without ANYONE giving me a hard time.

    PLUS, I get a great view of most of the game, including a fabulous view of the north goal.
     
  20. babyshark

    babyshark New Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Howdy:

    I am a dedicated seat-hopper, although I almost always sit behind the goal that DCU are attacking, rather than sit in the expensive sideline seats that seem to be the focus of this discussion. One of the things I like about RFK is that I can move to get the best view of the game. I have never yet ended up in someone else's seat; if I did I would cheerfully and quickly move on when asked.

    Have any of the complainers ever had trouble getting seat-hoppers to move along when asked? If so, then that is a real problem: all DCU fans should be polite to each other (and rude to the MetroScum). However, I have not gathered that this is happening. In fact, it appears that interlopers are shifting seats when asked to, without any need for raised voices.

    Marc
     
  21. weasel

    weasel New Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    NYC
    How about people paying for the seats they sit in. I'm not here to subsidize a bunch of cheap bastards who think it's OK to pay minimum price and sit wherever they feel like. Get 'em out of my seats and out of my section so I can watch the friggin game.

     
  22. K

    K BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 16, 1999
    DC, Fake America
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why not move into the 200s or the 100s? The 100s have much better checking on the tickets as it's a roped off section. The 200 level is usually more filled in making it more obvious that people are in the wrong seat. The 400 level has fabulous views and from what people have said, not too much trouble. If you really want privacy there's also the mezzanine. RFK holds what, 58,000 people? I would think there has to be 2 seats someplace that would make you happy.

    K
     
  23. shawn12011

    shawn12011 Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Reisterstown, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
     
  24. Rick77

    Rick77 Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Given Mr. Zack's response and your rejoinder, it's obvious that some people are simply impossible to placate, and DCU shouldn't waste valuable resources trying to achieve the impossible. Thanx for staying on top of this issue Stephen!
     
  25. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Obviously, you've never worked with NASA.......
     

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