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Disclaimer: This is a rant about concessions. Apologies to those looking for sports talk.
The problems with concessions at Ladd are well-documented and show a mind-blowing level of incompetence from the people in charge, but I've never had much of a problem in the Mitch. Last night, that changed. We walked into the arena 25 minutes before tip-off to be greeted by a concession stand line bending around the corner.
As I stood in a painfully slow-moving line, I noticed that it was taking forever because people kept having some sort of issue with the cashier. It was because I was in the "Cash only" line where no cards are accepted. Admittedly, they had a piece of notebook paper posted by the register saying that, but no one noticed it. At least five different customers got to the register and either got turned away or had to jump through a ring of fire to get the cashier to take their card over to the other register.
I finally got up to the register and got what I wanted (of course my friend had no cash, and I had to cover him), but not before we missed the first couple of minutes of the game. Got there 25 minutes early and still couldn't get some concessions and get into my seat by tip-off!
1) So my first issue is what's the deal with the "Cash only" line? Aramark or whoever runs the concessions isn't selling enough overpriced nachos and pizza to afford a couple more card machines? If there is a legitimate reason for a "Cash only" line, can we maybe get a bigger and more noticeable sign?
2) My second issue is why were there so few concession lines open? Maybe no one was anticipating that kind of crowd, but if that's the case, it's just poor planning. I wanted something else a few minutes before halftime, but the line was so long, I just decided to go without.
Bottom line: The inconvenience and hassle to me I can deal with. It happens. There are much worse things in life. But it bothers me when I see stuff like this because I know there had to be people who were probably at their first USA game or just casual fans, and because of such a negative experience with concessions, they may never come back, plus they may share that negative experience with others who were thinking about supporting USA athletics.
I'm a machine, jerk!
Aramark does run the Concessions at the Mitchell Center. I would make sure DJE was aware of the occurrences last night. He is the only one who can solve these issues.
"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything." -Tyler Durden
I noticed the "Cash Only" sign a couple weeks ago when I was in line. I saw the lines on Saturday and was like holy crap, glad I'm not hungry! My thought is the cash only line is meant to speed things up or to have an "express lane" if you will. And if you don't have cash you can go to the other line which will take longer. I think they need a bigger permanent looking sign there. And maybe even two lines divided with those line marker things and have a sign on those line markers indicating "Cash Only" line and "Debit and Credit" line.
Right at tip off we went get popcorn and did not get back to our seats until 55 seconds remaining in the half. Yes, you read that correctly. They even kept running out of popcorn which makes zero sense. The other issue I have are the tv's out in the hallway. We could see the action but barely, as the tv is TINY and the picture is blurry.
This is a huge problem, and it's been par for the course for a while.
I remember one game (first home game maybe?) where there was only one source of beer (not at the concession stand) - and when we got in line, they ran out of cups. Really?
USA should be working with their subcontractor to increase efficiency by decreasing wait times. The longer a fan has to wait to buy nachos, the less exposure they get to the team and gametime experience, which could turn the customer off, thus ultimately making that customer think twice about returning.
A couple of suggestions:
Update/modernize the POS systems.
Implement a process that will streamline service (think Lean methodology)
Invest in more efficient beer dispensing (www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiu_IX14wLI)
That is a pathetic situation that should not have deteriated to the current situation. Too bad it's happening and hope the problems are solved soon.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NCJag 17 months ago
I need one of those for the house!!
Is anyone else amazed that the picture on the TVs in the concourse showing the live basketball game just on the other side of the wall, look like they're picking up their signal on an antenna in a rain storm?
Yes! A facility like the Mitch should have flat screens all around!
I learned a long time ago..Eat before you leave the house and bring a bag of your favorite candy and a bottled water with you..
Now we know why we don't have HD flat screen TVs. Come on man you gotta do your part. Buy a loaded nacho and help hang a TV!!
This post was edited by Jagz91 17 months ago
IT'S OUR TIME! GO JAGS!!
If I could buy those nachos in less than 20 minutes,I might do it..
Here's my story from Saturday night...
I drop of the beautiful wife and kids at Mellow Mushroom around 6:15 and head up to get some tickets from Will Call that a friend left me. After parking and walking that probably puts me strolling up to the Mitch around 6:30. The line to the normal ticket window is all the way down the steps. I stick my head in the door and ask some of the ushers where Will Call pick-up is? The girl looks at me like I asked her to name the succession of the English monarchy, and the guy standing there says, "that's the only place I know of to get tickets."
Luckily, I decided to look around and when I walked up to the ticket window on the side and it had no line. I was pretty sure i was in the right spot.
The line at the main ticket window on the south side (or whatever side with the Jaguar Statue and Bell Tower) was pretty long, so I went to the side ticket office on the breezeway and there was no one in line.
They've put the 'cash' and 'credit signs in frames and are hanging above the counters. Much easier to see........ Small crowd means no line, no waiting (west side concession anyway).
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