May 24, 2007

L.A. Dodgers launch "all you can eat" seats

The LA Dodgers have launced a special seating section - "all you can eat seats" - where you can chow down on as many hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, pop corn, and soft drink as you want. Beer is not included!

From The Globe & Mail / AP:
Launched this season, the outfield eat-a-thon opens 90 minutes before the first pitch and lasts until the start of the seventh inning. Ticket prices range from $20 for group sales to $40 for day-of-game walk-ups. Some games are $25 during designated promotions.

"The fans love it," said Marty Greenspun, Dodgers executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

"It was an isolated area that we could really focus and test," he said. "No one has done this big of a seating section for this price in all of professional sports. It's been a hit since day one."

Some items aren't in play — beer ($8 and $10), ice cream and candy are sold from carts at regular prices. But they are included at some other major-league ballparks, which do versions of the eat-til-you-drop concept in smaller seating areas.

The concept was tested three times last season before being launched in April.

Since then, the Dodgers say the section has sold out eight times in 24 home games, with attendance averaging 2,000 in the 3,000 seats.


Greenspun said a handful of other professional sports teams have contacted the Dodgers about copying the idea, including the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. The Milwaukee Brewers sent their stadium operations chief to check it out.

Fans are allowed four items per trip to the food counters under the stands. Soda stations offer unlimited drinks and bottled water is free.

"Before, no one wanted to work here. It was a hassle," said Joe Herrera, a 10-year stadium employee. "We used to have the registers and a lot of angry people backed up. Now, the lines go fast and customers don't complain."

At times during a recent game against the Brewers, lines were eight-deep as workers quickly handed over fistfuls of grub. The only registers are at the merchandise counter and beer carts.

May 19, 2007

Behind the scenes at Joe Louis Arena

From the Detroit News, here's an account of some of the staff and activities that go on behind the scenes to prepare for a Red Wings game:
Ricky Gopigian Audio engineer ... By 9:30 a.m. Sunday, he was doing routine checks around the building, including a stop in the media work room to prepare morning news conferences. He also made sure Karen Newman had the proper setup for the national anthem ... Gopigian, an entertainment business veteran since the late 1970s, ended the day overseeing the postgame news conferences.


Sheldon Nueman Director of broadcasting ... Nueman has the most unique office in Detroit. It's 100 feet above center ice. From there -- inside the giant four-sided scoreboard at the Joe -- Nueman and his company control everything from the animated octopus to the distinctive horns that blare after goals. Nueman, 51, president of Livonia-based Joseph Productions Inc., also can control the video needs at Comerica Park and the Hockeytown Café from this location.
As for the goal horns, they're real horns powered by nitrogen tanks. Hockey fans know the sound is unique to the Joe, and Nueman wouldn't be more specific about how it's created.

"It's a mystery, kind of like the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken," Nueman said
(via Kukla's Korner)

May 4, 2007

25 years of rally towels in Vancouver

From the LA Times:
What's noteworthy is that Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the day that spurred Canucks fans to make the towels so popular.

While playing the Blackhawks on April 29, 1982, in the second game of the conference finals, Canucks Coach Roger Neilson became convinced referee Bob Myers was biased against his team. After yet another call went against the Canucks, Neilson grabbed a white towel, stuck it on the blade of a spare stick and began waving it in mock surrender behind his team's bench at Chicago Stadium.

Several Canucks players joined him, making their point very clear. Although Neilson was fined $1,000 by the NHL, the towels were a hit back in Vancouver. A local businessman printed up and sold several thousand towels — with the proceeds going to a charity — and fans snapped them up for the next home game. And the next, and the next.
(via Kukla's Korner)

Related topics:

Miami Dolphins rap "U Can't Touch This"

This video from the Miami Dolphins rivals, but does not quite surpass, the Calgary Flames singing "Can't Stop A Flame When It's Red Hot".

(Found via MilkandCookies)

Woo Hoo!

By coincidence, I came across two versions of Blur's Song 2 (aka Woo Hoo).

#1: A dance remix by Eric Prydz.

#2: French musicians Dionysos & Louise Attaque do a cover

Other bands who have done covers, according to Wikipedia: Weezer, Wallflowers, Plain White T's, AFI, My Chemical Romance, Plan B, Brock Landers, Die Toten Hosen.

More about Song 2 on Wikipedia...

May 3, 2007

The baddest scoreboard in the NBA

From the DC Sports Blog, found via

"We have the baddest scoreboard in the NBA," bragged Cavaliers Senior Vice President of Marketing Tracy Marek.


So the idea was floated: what if "Q Tube" itself blew fire? Through the mouths of four giant swords? The brand new scoreboard was taken apart and fitted with propane-powered firebreathers at a cost of $200,000, plus $2,500 per flaming game. The original plan was for a pyro wiz named Lloyd to sit inside the scoreboard to monitor the firestorm, but the experts eventually determined that was unnecessary.


Anyhow, the flames discharge throughout the pre-game introductions; all four corners at once (that's called "The Big Kahuna") and then individually in succession after each starter is introduced. It's loud, and it's warm, all over the arena. I think my face got singed. Such performances landed Q Tube the featured spot on the team's postseason media guide, and even the Wizards approved of its power.

"Oh that was hot," DeShawn Stevenson said of the intros, although he denied being startled. "I don't ever get scared," he said. "If they were trying to scare me, it didn't work."


Here's some more from an official press release from the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Cavaliers Unveil Flaming Swords at the Q

The Cleveland Cavaliers have introduced “The Flaming Swords” as blazing exclamation points to the team’s player introductions at Quicken Loans Arena. The pyrotechnic display that shoots out from four corner retractable swords on the center-hung video scoreboard called Q-VISION, dramatically sets the tone for the fans and home-court advantage. The unique presentation to the team’s pyrotechnics, which was unveiled at the November 1st season opener, is already a much talked about signature trademark of Cavs games at The Q.

The use of pyrotechnics is one of the NBA’s fastest growing game presentation features. This season, the Cavaliers have creatively adapted the pyrotechnics that traditionally spout from atop the basketball stanchions, to fire out from the emblems of the team logo. The four swords hang vertically on the corners of the scoreboard and are lowered to a 45 degree angle before flames proceed to explode from their tips, much to the spine-tingling amazement of the fans.


The moment of silence

Check out the great feature on about the "Moment of Silence". Editor Jon Cudo asked five different teams from various sports leagues about their policies and experience with observing a moment of silence. (Although totally unplanned, this feature is particularly timely, coming right after the Virginia Tech shootings.)

Some interesting notes:
  • Major League Soccer didn't observe a moment of silence after the Virginia Tech massacre, but instead read the following: "Instead of observing a moment of silence, we ask that you show your support for the families most deeply affected by this tragedy by joining INSERT NAME OF ANTHEM SINGER in singing a song of perseverance and solidarity – The Star-Spangled Banner."
  • The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets observe a moment of silence before EVERY home game to honour American soldiers who died while serving their country.
  • From the Portland Trailblazers: "Recently a long time (much publicized) season ticket holder passed away and we didn't do a moment of silence, but we put a "we will miss you" message on the big screen then went to a live shot of her seat which had photos & flowers on it."

New York Post re: O Canada

From a New York Post blog:
"In my opinion, the Canadian national anthem should be sung at all hockey games in North America. I love "O Canada"; it's a great tune and a rousing anthem. It signifies a country and its spirit well, and hearing it really gets me fired up. Sure, I've got Canuck heritage, but objectively I think it's hard to deny that it has a place in hockey. Singing "O Canada" is paying homage to the place that gave us such a great sort and so many great players...

The Phoenix Coyotes used to be the Winnipeg Jets. Sing "O Canada" there. Detroit is right across the river from Windsor, Ontario. I think it's crazy if they don't sing "O Canada" at the Joe. Sing it everywhere; Florida, California ... Nashville ... because — to adapt a cliche — even if you take all the hockey teams out of Canada, you'll never take the Canada out of hockey."
(via Kukla's Korner)