July 26, 2006

The town, painted red.

The town is now red.

So over the weekend, about 90,000+ or so attendees over 3 days painted the town red.

At NTP, Nate and I had the pleasure of going on Friday and Sunday both, and Watson was with us for Friday. Watson enjoyed the availability of more kinds of beer, including Sam's Summer Ale he found behind our seats. Nate and I tried Hard Times Chili and the beef brisket (on different days), and none of us could find the elusive half-smokes. (Apparently, neither could the Post, so I don't feel bad. Marc Fisher gives his thoughts)

You can study the handy graphic telling all about the enhancements.

Let's review, shall we? Starting with the food....

There is actually a diversity of food to try now at RFK. The food court is a nice enhancement, and turned out to be fast, efficent, and a good implementation. They didn't have a lot to work with, and they did the best job I think they could have. I don't think there are enough ice cream stands, but besides that it's nice things to say. There are now a large number of items I have yet to try, including cheesesteaks, knishes, Texas Sausage, chicken paninis, buffalo bites.... And it's actually good.

I can't comment on the Kids Zone. I don't have any rugrats myself -- although Nate and I are plotting to borrow some to score Screech Booblebellys. I must own the bobble belly!

Giant Racing presidents. Ok, I thought this was going to be really stupid, but this actually turned out to be rather amusing. Teddy stole the golf cart. What more can I say? It's very DC, and that's a good thing.

Nicer people. My personal experience was that those at RFK were friendlier, helpful, and really making an effort. One girl I talked to was telling me it was her first day, so they obviously hired people too. If this is still the case in two weeks, then four weeks, I'll be delighted.

Music. They tightened up the music at RFK, leaving a lot less dead air and keeping the crowd moving. Watson and Nate find it annoying on a personal level, but agree with me that the fact that there is more music, more PA buzz, keeps the crowd more engaged and the excitement level a little higher. This is a huge experience difference in my mind.

The weekend only stuff was very cool -- I was handed a hat by FLop and a towel by Livan, and Watson has his picture taken with James Brown

I have to say, I think I really like our new owners. If you haven't read this article about the 71 year old gent who was given a signed ball by Mark Lerner, you should. I think their hearts are in the right place.

Oh, and the stadium didn't smell bad anymore. That's a really good thing.

What does this leave us with? It leaves us with the impression that the owners actually seem to care about the entertainment experience, and are doing what they can to make a difference. I certainly appreciated the changes. We'll keep an eye out on their ability to maintain -- although we went to last night's game, and things were still going strong.


Brandon Kriner said...

Nice writeup. I was at Saturday's game and unfortunately I had bad experiences with the food. It wasn't that the food was bad, but that I was not allowed to enter the Terrace Food Court! A buddy and I approached the food court just as security people were barricading the place shut! This was in the middle of the game...we were told that a "storm was coming" so we weren't allowed in. Huh? It was a bit overcast, but the game was still rolling on. There was no thunder or anything to be heard. My buddy and I were so drunk that was shrugged our shoulders and kept going.

We eventually found the cheesesteaks, which were disappointing. Aramark thinks that a cheesesteak is a spongy sub roll with ONE slice of unmelted Kraft cheese and some steak. Would it kill them to get giant tubs of Cheez Whiz and make the steaks somewhat authentic? We were loaded so we narbled them down without a word, but it was disappointing. I wish I'd been able to try some of the other things.

Kasten, et. al should have a new policy: if a fan wants to spend money on something, let him do it.

Dave said...

We discussed last night the fact we wanted to try the cheesesteaks -- I'm sorry to hear they're disappointing.

That is crazy about the food court -- interesting what will happen during rain!

Nate said...

As a matter of fact, if a fan wants to spend money on something, let him do it, is Dave's personal motto as well. ;)

A side note: I do not recommend the spicy buffalo bites on a 90 degree evening. Dehydration city. The jersey boardwalk fries are tasty though.

Anonymous said...

I found the new brats. They were called "A-brats" on the lower level. BIG improvement over the old ones which you can still get. Not so damned salty. And I thought that the beef brisket was very good. Compares favorably with RH&B.