TROPICANA FIELD OPENS TO GREAT HOOPS ACTION, MIXED REVIEWS
Tropicana Field, which hosted this weekend's NCAA men's
south regional and is scheduled to host next year's men's
Final Four, received mixed reviews from fans and media this
weekend. In Tampa, George Coryell wrote that "problems"
remained as the facility opened Friday night and Tampa
resident Fred Kurtzman called the facility "disgusting."
Kurtzman: "I mean, the seats are still full of dirt."
However, Coryell reported that "for all the criticism ...
most fans were forgiving" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/21). In Tampa,
Ryan & Minai wrote on the facility's "weaknesses:" the
"scarcity" of lights on surrounding streets which had fans
"nervous" as they left the games; a "lack of staffed ticket
windows;" ATMs and pay phones "scattered throughout" the
arena, many of which "didn't work;" and a lack of ushers to
help fans to their correct seats (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/22). In
Philadelphia, Bill Conlin writes that with just eight days
remaining before the Devil Rays are due to open their
season, the stadium "isn't close to ready." Conlin: "Leaks
are everywhere, even in the Ebbets Field-style rotunda that
will be the main entrance" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/23).
AFTERMATH: Despite the problems, "[n]othing huge"
tarnished Tropicana Field's effort to join the list of elite
sites for major sports events, "but there were enough
irritating nuisances" to demonstrate why it is "not yet" on
that list, reports David Rogers of the ST. PETE TIMES. Two
power outages delayed yesterday's Duke-KY regional final,
one of which lasted four minutes (ST. PETE TIMES, 3/23).