SBD/November 29, 2011/Facilities

Some Saints Fans Are Angry With New Seat Locations In Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Many fans say they got little or no warning about potential sight-line issues
A number of Saints ticket holders have "expressed dissatisfaction with the location of their seats in the newly configured Plaza level" of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, according to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The building's new layout resulted in a permanent "expanded configuration," adding "more than 3,000 seats to capacity, but leaving longtime Saints season-ticket holders whose seats might have been moved clearly unhappy." Many of the letters "received and published by the newspaper indicate that fans got little or no warning about potential sight-line issues with their seats if they'd been moved." SMG Senior VP/Stadiums & Arenas Doug Thornton said that ticket holders "should have received a letter directing them to a three-dimensional mockup of the new configuration on the SMG website." He mentioned that "concerns over the 'pitch' of the seating area, which has resulted in complaints about the inability of some fans to see over those in front of them, has been lowered by only one-quarter of an inch per step between the new and old configurations." Thornton: "There's always a price you pay for progress. If we want to be competitive, these are the things we felt we had to do. I think you'll find the overwhelming majority of people who sit in the lower bowl, 90-percent plus, have no complaints." Thornton said that fans in the "four corners of the Plaza level, which were reconfigured as well, also have experienced seating changes which resulted in complaints," especially the "last 10 rows which now are under the Loge overhang." To compensate, Thornton said that fans have been "provided with 52-inch flat-screen televisions to enhance the experience and provide access to replay screens that are obscured" (NOLA.com, 11/28).
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