SBD/28/Facilities Venues

THEY PROMISED A ROSE GARDEN, NOT NIRVANA

     "Whether you're in the suites, at center court, or in the
nosebleed seats, the Rose Garden has become a bit of a thorn in
the side of many fans," writes Jeff Manning in the Portland
OREGONIAN.  Manning notes while the arena itself is
"spectacular," its initial season has been a "rough one," with
seating problems, "endless" lines, bad food and inflated prices.
Blazers VP/Business Affairs J. Isaac notes the problems are
"inevitable" for a new arena like the Rose Garden.  Manning notes
the Blazers will not let the problems "fester" as the team must
keep seats filled to meet the debt payments on the $262M facility
(OREGONIAN, 11/26).
     REPORT CARD:  In addition to Manning's report, the OREGONIAN
had a "Rose Garden Report Card" which graded the spectacle, food,
drink, and design of the Rose Garden.  For sound and spectacle,
Marty Hughley gave concert sound an A-, game sound a B-, "bells
and whistles" a B-, and overall atmosphere a B.  Karen Brooks
graded the food.  The only item to get an A was the $5.75 curry
chicken, while the $3 firedog got an F.  She notes that while the
Rose Garden is the arena of the future, it "isn't up to the task
of serving the food of the 50's."  Randy Gragg grades seating and
signage as follows:  seating earns a B-, lighting a B-, bathrooms
an A, navigational signage a B-, game signage a B+, and concourse
signage an A (Portland OREGONIAN, 11/26).
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