Our 43rd President once famously extolled:
Fool me once, shame on….shame on you. Fool me…can’t get fooled again.
In his own bumbling way, it would seem George W. Bush was speaking for Packer fans everywhere.
From Bob McGinn:
A crowd of 47,844 watched on a sultry night at 72,928-seat Lambeau Field. It was an unexpectedly low turnout, especially given the fact that some are picking the Packers as the team to beat in the National Football League.
Since 1999, when the Packers began charging $6 for what had been a free event since its inception in 1958, the lowest attendance of 46,420 was in ’99. Crowds surpassed 60,000 in 2004, ’05 and ’06, with a high of 62,701 in ’06.
Last summer, with the ticket price increased to $10, a crowd of 50,787 went home largely unhappy and with no refund when lightning and heavy rains caused management to cancel the event at 9 p.m.
I remember attending two years ago when the start of the scrimmage was delayed by a few hours. Madeline and I, along with 50,000 of our closest friends, were made to wait in the dingy walkways under the bowl of the stadium the entire time. While I can understand the safety concerns of allowing people into a seating area completely populated by metal seats during a lightning storm, I couldn’t understand the lack of foresight. A stamp? A wristband? Something that allowed you to leave and re-enter the park? It was an awful two hours and completely ruined the night. (Ok, so that’s not completely true. Favre showing up ruined the whole night.)
Fast forward a year to the 2009 Family Night – which was completely canceled. Fans were not even given a refund. The event was chronicled by Tundra Vision‘s C.D. Angeli, who took his complaints all the way to the top:
I spoke on the phone today with Mark Murphy (who promptly returned my request). We spoke for about five minutes, and in that time I did let him know that I supported the decision for safety for all involved.
What I did suggest to him, however, was to develop a system so that parents could take their children out of the stadium and into a more comfortable atmosphere in the event of dangerous weather. We were essentially trapped on the uncovered part of the upper concourse, and I had one kid who was terrified of the lightning.
We spoke to security, who told us if we left the stadium, we would not be readmitted, because there was no one at the gates to check the tickets. I watched many parents make the frustrated decision with scared or exhausted kids to leave the stadium, knowing that if they re-opened the bowl five minutes later, they were out of luck.
For preseason games and regular season games, I can understand keeping with the no re-entry policy. However, in an event where children under five are commonplace, it would have been very comforting for a lot of parents to bring the kids back to a familiar van, pop in a DVD, and let them watch or fall asleep while waiting to find out when/if the scrimmage would be continued.
I couldn’t agree more and I have a hunch 10,000 plus Packer fans figured, after two years of being jerked around, that enough is enough.