At this year's Select A Seat event for season ticket holders, I reported that the Ducks were announcing three new food options for Honda Center as part of their continuing efforts to improve the arena. Today, we received a Season Ticket Holder Alert from the Ducks announcing more information about these new food options, as well as their location.
Here are the descriptions, ripped directly from the email:
NEW Concession Stands Opening October 14th at Honda Center Be sure to check out the NEW concession stands opening October 14th at Honda Center when the Ducks take on the San Jose Sharks! Outlaws Smokehouse - Section 219 Serving BBQ favorites including house-smoked Brisket Sandwiches, House-Smoked Kielbasa and Loaded Baked Potatoes. Burger Bistro - Section 217 Serving Gourmet Burgers in multiple combinations including Mushroom Swiss, Spicy Chile and Pineapple Teriyaki, French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries. Sliced Gourmet Deli - Section 319 Serving freshly prepared hot and cold sandwiches and salads.
I want to start off by saying that I think it's great the Ducks are trying to continually improve the food offerings. Before the start of the 2010-2011 campaign, the Ducks opened up three new eateries (a Philly Cheesesteak place, a seafood place, and a Chinese place) and revamped their hot dog stands. This brings us to a total of six new eateries in just two years. That's a great development, and the Ducks should be lauded for it.
But here's my problem. Of these six new eateries, only one is located on the 400 level, where the majority of seats in the arena exist. Not only that, but the Sliced Gourmet Deli (which is akin to a Subway) is on the uber-exclusive Club level, meaning that unless you have a 300-level ticket, you can't get to it.
I have two main issues with this. Logistically, this is a really bad decision by the Ducks. I don't know if you've tried walking around the main concourse of Honda Center around 6:30, but it's packed. Adding four of the six new eateries on this level is only going toe exacerbate this problem and further choke traffic in the concourse (which is already slammed since it's the only point of entry for the arena). You're also shooting yourself in the foot in terms of potential audience, as these eateries are effectively unreachable for a majority of the arena's customers during any event. There's no way I could make it down to the 200 level and back during a 17-minute intermission. Further compounding this problem is that there are several open stalls on the 400-level that could be filled with food options.
My other issue with this is the exclusivity of the Club level. I understand that you want to retain an aura of privilege for your corporate suite attendees, but you should really throw your season ticket holders a bone here. There's nothing worse than knowing that the best food in the arena is inaccessible to you, even though you're forking out over $3,000 a year on your tickets. It also doesn't make much sense from a fiscal standpoint, as you're paying staff to run relatively inefficient locations. Since the total potential volume of customers on the Club level is dramatically lower than elsewhere in the arena, you're staffing stands that will be processing fewer total customers. If you're going to insist on installing new eateries on this level, you should at least make them accessible for season ticket holders. Otherwise, it's sort of a slap in the face to flout these new options to people who cannot ever use them.
I'm glad that the Ducks are modernizing their options and adding increased variety. But the way they're doing it seems to be the most inefficient way possible. I know I'm biased for being a 400-level ticket holder, but it just doesn't make much sense to put eateries in a location where they are going to do the least good.