Sunday, August 14, 2011

When Class War Comes, First We Take Their Foam Fingers

When the Saints' pre-season opened Friday, the news was as much the improvements to the Superdome as it was the game. From The Times-Picayune:

"Everything is great," said Jed Gaspard, a season-ticket holder from Eunice who sits in Section 143. "I'm really excited that they spent the money to upgrade it so we can really have a nice facility. It kind of makes you proud coming here. I'm spending about $100 more per game per seat, but it is worth it."

I sit in section 649, and I too was excited when I went to the men's room nearest to my seats in the terrace and saw that the same two-year-old ad for a fantasy football service is still on the wall above the urinals, complete with the swastika that someone drew on a player's arm shortly after it went up. While the dome was upgrading the lower levels to add 3,400 seats, it left upper level graffiti in place for two years running.

I didn't expect the renovations to reach the upper rack, and I'm not disappointed that they didn't. The changes that did affect me, I liked: the significantly widened ramp outside Gate C, what looks like improved lighting on the field. But it felt a bit zeitgeisty when The T-P and all the local news outlets reported on the upgrades as if they were good for whole Who Dat Nation and not simply the most affluent. They now have "bunker lounges" (I guess the dome ran out of money to come up with better names about the same time they ran out of money for steel wool to scrub the graffiti), wider corridors, more and better food and drink options, and more bathrooms. I'm sure the women in the terrace looking forward to a dome dog while standing in the corridors in the terrace while in line for the ladies room will be very happy for them.

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