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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cluster fuck train wreck in Hoffman Mistakes

The Chicago Hounds "postponed" their home opener tonight as the Sears Centre was not ready for hockey. United Hockey League Commissioner Richard Brosal made the announcement to fans after delaying the game for more than two hours. The problems at Sears Centre were obvious and numerous. However, the fault for a train wreck of a night should be shared by an inexperienced front office staff at the Hounds.

The Sears Centre had hosted the Olay Ice Wars on Thursday. The figure skating competition had required the removal of the Hounds center ice logo. A source said the replacement logo hadn’t arrived to the Sears Centre until after 4 p.m. Friday. Further, the facility doors had been left open during the day. Significant ice melting occurred and even after a two hour delay, large areas of the ice were still visible, clear enough to see the underlying material. A large pool of water stood at center ice.

Further aggravating the situation was the unreadiness of the facility in other areas. Glass surrounding the ice was not fully installed by the staff till after 9 P.M, almost two hours after the scheduled game start. The staff could be seen installing safety railings among the seats as the crowd came in. And, some seats were not even installed yet. On one discussion board, a fan said they found the fasteners where their seat would soon be installed. Another fan said their seat locations were inside the penalty boxes, meaning the staff hadn’t planned on the needs of the off-ice officials.

Upper bowl concession stands were not opened during the two hour delay. Women complained of dirty bathrooms prior to the regulation start. Did I mention the staff put a football movie on, to appease the hockey fans?

Technically, this train wreck is a cluster fuck. And you just don’t see many cluster fuck train wrecks and survive.

The nice thing about such disasters is there is no where to go but up. And, prices for seats were higher than for Chicago Wolves and Rockford Ice Hogs tickets, and the seats in the upper bowl were further from the ice.

From what I’ve read of the economics of UHL teams, the Hounds will need to attract about 3,000 fans each game. They didn’t get that on opening night. It is going to be difficult to attract many of the families back after this fiasco.

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