Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marriott Center Seating "Upgrade"?!? I Don't Think So!!!

If you asked me what my favorite place is on BYU campus, I'd probably say the Marriott Center. Yeah, it was never the comfiest place to sit for devotionals, but the memories I have from basketball games there far outweigh the disadvantages and the back pain I've experienced in that building. I am not a student anymore, but I have had a student all-sports pass for the last 8 years, and I plan to get another one for 2012-2013. With the recent announcement of seating "upgrades" to the Marriott Center, I am way beyond disgruntled. I'm just plain mad.

My dear alma mater is throwing the students in the gutter once again. Basketball was the one sport where students could get decent seats, but now that is being thrown out the window for-- what else?-- money. I saw an interview with Tom Holmoe the other day, arguing that the west side is a good place for the students because they will be able to get on TV more often and be able to distract the opposing team during free throws. WHO CARES?!? I know I don't. I want my good view back! Holmoe said he knows the students will "make the best" of the situation because they are the "greatest fans in the world." So that's how you treat the greatest fans in the world, huh? Giving us crummy seats, once again.

Not only will the student section be moved, but the capacity of the Marriott Center will also be reduced from 22,700 to 20,900. That's 1,800 fewer seats! Even with the addition of more expensive seats, isn't that going to make them LOSE money? And they say the atmosphere will remain the same? Definitely not. Now all the good seats will be filled with the 80-year-old high-rollers who rarely even rise from their gilded, padded thrones for 30 seconds during the "Rise and Shout" chorus of the fight song.

I think I'm probably even more angry than most others because of my photography obsession. It's impossible to get good pictures when you're sitting behind the basket. The hoop on the opposite side of the court is too far away to get decent shots, even with my 200X zoom lens, because of the poor lighting combined with necessary fast shutter speeds to capture the action. I also won't be able to get good pictures on the close end of the court because the backboard will be in the way. During basketball games when I've sat behind the hoop, I've gotten way too many pictures that look like the players are decapitated when going up for a shot. Not good. Not good at all.

What happened to getting public opinion before making decisions like this? As an 8-going-on-9-year sports pass holder, I really, really, really don't approve of this decision. Even though it probably won't do any good, if there's a petition going around, someone please send it my way because this is ridiculous.

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