Once again this year I took my family to see the first preseason game against Tampa. We have been doing this for several years. The preseason games are a great way to take your entire family to get the "NFL Experience" without the huge price tag.
I have been to no less than 50 home games, probably quite a bit more. This is not my first time at the rodeo. I am becoming less inclined to attending in person with each game I attend. Tonight's experience is just the icing on the cake. I always look forward to going but am leaving with a bad taste in my mouth much more frequently.
The employees at the stadium are a complete joke this year. They are wearing embroidered shirts that say "Elite". Let me assure you they are anything but. This is by far my biggest complaint about tonight's event. They seem to have hired a bunch of thugs for this year's crew. Our first experience was with the usher in our section who insisted at checking our tickets. We were in section 408 row 2, upon entering our section he blocked our way to our row and was trying to make us go up past row 10. We insisted that our seats were actually below where we were standing but he kept pointing to the "408" sign at the top of the stadium and gesturing for us to go up to the sign. After a few moments of arguing an actual English speaking employee intervened and allowed us acces to our seats in row 2. In all fairness, this "Elite" employee actually apologized for his coworkers lack of knowledge of the section he was in charge of.
Our second experience with an "Elite" employee was during a rain shower in the first quarter. We went into the breezway outside our section to avoid the rain and used the opportunity to visit the restrooms. While waiting for my wife to return, the boys and I were standing watching one of the monitors near the concession stand. This is when 3 thugs wearing "Elite" shirts walking shoulder to shoulder nearly knocked me down and actually knocked down my oldest 10 year old son. No apology, no "excuse me" , nothing. It was not even crowded where we were standing.
Our final experience with "Elite" was while we were leaving the stadium midway through the 3rd quarter. Since my son was in casts we decided to take the elevator down from the 400's. When the elevator arrived the 5 "Elite" employees inside seemed annoyed that there were people getting into the elevator. A couple from Fort Pierce and my family of four. They promptly notified us that there was a max capacity of 7 people on the elevator other than employees. "No problem" I said as we were only six, they were definately annoyed at my mathematical skills. They then blocked the buttons so the guy from Ft. Pierce couldn't press the buttons as they wanted to exit at 1. He had to ask this "Elite" to move twice. That prompted me to ask if we should be getting off at 1 or G if we wanted to leave the stadium. I definately should not have asked the elevator attendants this question as this created some laughter and gibberish amongst the "Elites" that I could not understand. I repeated the question thinking they didn't hear me and the response was "whatever". So we get to G, the door opens, my wife and youngest son start to exit the elevator and the door slams into her. 2-3 seconds after the door opened, still 4 people inside, with a elevator attendant manning the controls. Now, up until this point the "Elites" haven't messed with my wife....now you have completely ruined my night. As the door quickly closes after we exit my wife starts to confront the attendants they scream "you shouldn't be so drunk". Holy hell. Had we had a drink they may have had a point. Had I been alone I would have walked away. Of all the things you can do on God's green earth, don't piss my wife off.
So as my wife is screaming at the now closed elevator doors, several main lobby attendants approach us and start calling for a supervisor on their walky talkies. They recall the elevator which takes a full 5 minutes to return....now with just a single "Elite" employee who has removed her name badge. She denies ever even being on the elevator with us or that any of that has occured. The supervisor the nice "Elites" called for is busy with a "police incident" so they apologized and assured us they got the name of the elevator attendant.
I typically attend 5-6 home games per season. After tonight's fiasco I think I am going to start watching more from the couch. Way cheaper and safer. If anyone is interested in 2 lower level, endzone seats for the Oakland home opener PM me as I think I would rather watch from my house.
F**k you Elite.