You may remember a couple of weeks ago I put up a poll asking whether readers would prefer to be in Miami or New Orleans should the Saints make the Super Bowl. The question popped into my head before the playoffs even started when my wife asked me what I would do if the situation actually came up. Days later, it was on your computer screen. It took a while but the Times-Pic eventually caught on as well.
Naturally, it was a difficult choice I was hoping I would just have to make. Would I rather be at the game to watch this once-in-a-lifetime experience in person and add to my impressive streak of Saints game attendance or would it be best to stay here in New Orleans where I could celebrate with all of my friends, family and fellow Who Dats? Ultimately, I decided I would want to go to Miami. But there was one possible situation that would have definitely made me re-think decision: Open the Superdome and let fans watch it there. I couldn't imagine a better way to watch the Saints play the biggest game of their 43-year history than in the stadium I've watched countless others.
Seems like a win-win situation to me. Seats could be offered to season ticket holders first, allowing them to sit in the same seats from which they've watched this entire magical season unfold and be surrounded by the same fans with whom they've celebrated all year. Any tickets held by fans not wishing to take advantage of the opportunity could then be purchased by non-season ticket holding fans. And I don't see any reason why Tom Benson and co. wouldn't be interested in adding another event, allowing them yet another opportunity to sell more tickets and concessions.
I'm not the only one who thinks this would be a great idea, by the way. There are over 8,000 fans of the "Open the Louisiana Superdome for SuperBowl XLIV" Facebook fan page, all of whom want to see it happen.
But to my disappointment, I learned yesterday that we're all out of luck. Apparently, to host such an event would be to break an old NFL rule...
"Yeah, we've had a lot of calls, and certainly wish we could show it, but there is a long standing NFL policy that you cannot show the game to a mass audience, so we're just not able to do it. Sorry, wish we could,"
What? Pretty lame answer. It's like a kid asking their parent for a reason why they can't do something and getting the response, "Because." Am I missing something? Seriously. I'm willing to bet the decision is motivated by money, but I just can't figure out how.
First of all, what makes up a mass audience? Can we have a number please? The Prytania Theatre and World War II museum both held screenings of the NFC Championship game and haven't been charged with violating any rules to the best of my knowledge. So how many is too many? Nearly every resident of the city of New Orleans will be watching this game, just as they did the NFC Championship, so what the hell does it matter how they watch it?
And just because a policy is long standing, doesn't make it a good rule. I will spare you the list of amendments and law changes that we've made in our country in an effort to adapt with the times but if America were as stringent as the NFL, women still wouldn't be allowed to vote and morons would still be allowed to talk and text on their cell phones while they drive.
I know it may be too late and the plea's from those of us who want this to happen may be falling on deaf ears, but I know this is done in other stadiums in other sports. So to Goodell and the NFL (No Fun League): Take the stick out of your butt and let us open the damn Superdome! Successful organizations and businesses learn to adapt to survive. Will the NFL?