A fan's view of the Worlds
Here are a few random personal observations from a fan's eye.
1. Lots of great fans to talk to, as always
2. Great Starbucks in a very nice practice rink
3. Tight security in main arena, bomb dogs and metal detectors, etc.
4. No security to get into the practice rink, other than a pass check.
Mostly good mannered arena folk.
5. very limited food, as usual. And limited hours. McDonalds in the arena would close with 50 people and more in line waiting to pay double the going rate for burgers at 1:30 pm cause the manager didnt want to pay his help overtime.
6. During practices in the main arena, fans were kept to one, two, or three sections depending on the whim of someone at the time.
7. On Saturday, after the ladies practice, fans were thrown out before skaters went through their gala programs, then after the fans left, the areana changed its mind and let fans in.
8. Walking downtown late at night was no problem due to the streets being crowded with skating fans and other people. Just a few panhandlers and street people.
9. The crew at Denny's worked hard to get early fans breakfast fast so they could get to the arena/practice rink.
10. Bizarre policies. There would be guards at the open glass doors at the convention center where the practice rink was that wouldn't let fans into the building. One had to walk down outside stairs, around the building, into other glass doors, up escalators, and finally arrive at the other side of the original glass doors! Then one could go through other internal doors to the practice rink just by showing one's pass. No security what so ever. There were arena personnal around and there was a dedicated place for coaches and skaters, but many of those chose to stand/sit with the fans, just like at sectionals.
Fans were very respectful of them and didnt "mob" them (much).
Only fans who bought programs ($10) or media guides ($25) could get skating order sheets WITH EXACT skating times after the first day. Results and basic skating orders were available at the USFSA table, I think. The Wilshire did have an excellent info room with all kinds of handouts for free.
There were a few drinking fountains so that one didnt have to pay $3.75 for bottled water and one could bring in water.
The program only had a few pics of a few top skaters. One was supposed to write in the names and the scores in the book on form pages. The media guide was excellent, being basically pages from the ISU website for each skater, but no pics of skaters.
Had a great time, but over the years fans seem to have become an afterthought.
Perhaps the USFSA and ISU should consider certain standards for fan's enjoyment in the bidding process. Food would be nice. As would being able to sit in the front rows during practices to feel the wind as the skaters fly by.
Could I hear the Paso just one more time?
(Yaroslava, how are your dogs doing? I bet they miss you....)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts from the week. Sounds like the media guide proved a worthy investment for the truly attentive fan. Food at events is ALWAYS such a dilemma. And odd, because as you describe, so many who are able to shell out for skating events, would be thrilled to also enjoy something more than fake-cheese nachos to eat. From photos on icenetwork, it looks like "small medal" ceremonies were held outside. Did you get to go?
Keeper of Bab's Death Stare...
Yes, thank heavens for that Starbucks! You cound actually get a yummy (and healthy) bowl of oatmeal there. Their water and hot chocolate was cheaper, too!
Originally Posted by CoyoteChris
The bathroom waiting lines (at least for the women,) were awful, much of the time the soap wasn't refilled.
I, too, went in and out of the practice rink many times, and only once did they actually check my practice pass. I loved watching those practices! The Kween and Uncle Dick were just a few rows away from me. Dick looks so fragile now... I asked The Kween (very politely,) if we would be seeing her Totentanz at Worlds next year. She smiled, signed my program, but no anwser - darn!
They put some of the small medal ceremonies up live on the big screens inside being held across the street, but there is little time at these events to run here, there and yonder and make it back through security lines, get food if one can, and sit. Since I sat a few feet away from Phillip Candeloro and Shizuka Arakawa they were more fun to watch!
From photos on icenetwork, it looks like "small medal" ceremonies were held outside. Did you get to go?[/QUOTE]
ref: I, too, went in and out of the practice rink many times,
Yes, thanks to Starbucks for rocket fuel to get through all those early morning practices at the practice rink. I really enjoy practices and watching the interaction between the students and coaches. And then sitting with them while they watched others. I must say it is hard to sit there and NOT take pics of Kurt Browning with Alissa Czisny but I feel it is rude being so close and they have other things on their minds. When skaters are on the ice, they are fair game, though! (I do confess to taking pics of Oksana Grishuk and Alexander Zhulin but it was at long range
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I brought bottled water and refilled at the water fountains when needed. I also snuck in some snacks, as did many of other fans. I had plastic baggies of crackers and stuff in my oversized handbag and nobody said anything.
I think everyone did, but sometimes one needs some hot food too.....
I'm ashamed to admit it but I snuck in a bottle of water, then just refilled it at a water fountain. I hate paying big bucks for a bottle of water
and... World Peace!
I agree that fans are becoming more and more of an afterthought, especially in the USFSA's eyes. They really know how to stick it to you, and then act all surprised when you won't pay high prices for nose bleeds and you email them to tell them so when they spam your email with a reminder that you haven't bought tickets to the next big event.
Good point Tonichelle. I find it annoying too.
I think they should come up with some sort of LOYALTY program. Like if you are a repeat season ticket holder. Why not get either a discount? Or a chance at better seats for fans who have attended something like, 2 out of the last 3 years or something. I don't know. They need to KEEP butts in those seats. Get creatived and REWARD for loyal fans is my opinion.
and... World Peace!
I agree, instead it seems those of us who know how it works notice more and more things missing along with the price hikes and other inconveniences. I can understand costs going u depending on venue and economy and the like... but closing some practices when you're told they'll be open... selling you on a practice pass that is basically useless because they will only allow you into the warm ups... and the like is just so frustrating.