In recent years, the stadium has put a text service in place, allowing fans who experience issues to notify the good old SAFE Management folks when they have a problem. I used it for the first time on Friday, and for being a rat got a forced apology but no relief on my $9 beer. That apology plus $9 would have gotten me back to even, but that wasn’t what I got at all.
Imagine for a second that you were at a bar or restaurant and had your drink spilled or meal dumped by a hostess or bus boy. Is there any question that the establishment from whom you bought that meal or drink would replace it? That though, is because restaurants and bars actually care about your repeat business. The Ravens have already insured your repeat business by way of the PSL and the season ticket package. Even if you were of the mind to take a stand and not come back, they have a list of people waiting, and willing to pay handsomely to take your place and pay their money to the team for the right to be treated that way.
I wasn’t suggesting that the security guy or even his supervisor go into their pocket to reimburse my $9, it’s a decent amount of money for a simple mistake. Why is it though that they were comfortable being so nonchalant about my being out that money? Is there no process by which a security supervisor could consult with a beverage manager and insure a happy customer? I’m betting that if I had paid a couple of hundred dollars for a club level seat or a couple of thousand for a skybox I would have been treated differently. I’m betting the $80 that I spent for an upper deck ticket to an inconsequential game doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of Ravens business or NFL penny pinching. It surely doesn’t matter as much to them as it does to me. That’s just weak.
The one refreshing thing I did notice at the game on Friday was the number of fans that wouldn’t have had the chance to be there if it were a regular season or playoff game. There were a couple of guys in front of me having a great time experiencing Ravens football first hand for maybe the first time. It would have been nice if all of the fans that elected to stay home and watch baseball (as I probably should have done) would have been able to get their tickets into the hands of fans like that. That however is unrealistic because of the policy of flagging the tickets and threatening their revocation if your tickets find their way into the hands of unruly fans.
More often than not, the Ravens have done right by their fans and have genuinely seemed to care about their game day experience. Maybe it’s worth considering that it’s their preseason too. Maybe everyone just “mails it in” for the preseason, the team on the field does, the fans do, maybe that makes it acceptable for the organization to do the same. That however doesn’t make it right.