Monday, September 28, 2009

Now With Cup Holders

Anaheim calling to the hockey world...

Ducks fans were treated to a 5-4 win against the Kings at the Ponda Center on Sunday night. But another interesting treat greeted fans taking their seats in the non-300 level: cup holders.

Daniel, are the new cup holders a noteworthy upgrade, or do they simply draw attention to the fact that the Pond has been living in the past since its construction?

I think I'm a little unimpressed with cup holders. I almost never use one, and the fact that our seats have pretty good leg room makes me feel confident in stashing my beer under the seat. Mostly, I can't believe it took so long to make this happen. It's cup holders for the love of Howe, not a seat warmer. I do wonder what made Ponda Center management suddenly decide that we need cup holders. I appreciate the many things the Ponda center does for me: convenient bathrooms, the brief relationship with Ruby's, not to mention the vast array of beer for the persistent shopper, but I can't wrap my mind around cup holders. Maybe in 1999 it would have been cool, but now every arena has them.

If the Ponda Center really wants to impress me, it needs to sign a food contract that can get me a burger, fries and a soda for less than $10. Or at least get rid of Rubio's. I hate Rubio's, and I miss Ruby's.

Once upon a time, if you had a car without a cup holder (and such a thing was possible despite the automobile cup holder's invention in the 1950s), you would just go into a gas station and buy that $1 plastic cup holder that hung from your car windowsill. And you WOULD buy it, because cup holders are logical in any place where consuming a beverage is not your primary concern. It's not luxurious or decadent; it's a cup holder!

I'll admit that I'm to blame for this ridiculous question, but as my elbow sank into the newly designed armrest, I remembered what it was like the first time we sat in the 300s. I actually remarked to you, "Dude! Cup holders!" The Pond had managed to convince me that storing your drink at arm level was a privilege, a status symbol and the dominant factor in the differential in ticket price. And now, they deign to distribute it to the masses.

I'm not saying it's bad; it's certainly good in all the ways that cup holders are good. Notably, you can have a sizable tray of food in your lap and reach for your drink laterally. And I'm not saying that it doesn't take SOME planning to implement. I mean, we saw a guy get his drink kicked onto the steps today. And as far as I'm concerned, the Staples Center cup holders in the upper levels put your drink in your neighbor's lap. But it's hard to call this an 'upgrade' in such a young building. Honestly, I'd grown accustomed to the inconvenience.


Anonymous said...

I watched all games at the Pond without a cup holder in the 400s. When the 2003 SC Playoffs came around, I opted for the upgrade on my seats to the 300s. BIG -- HUGE - MISTAKE!! Why would anyone want people in the aisles more interested in what the waitress brings TO them DURING PLAY?? If the Ducks want me back as a season seat holder, I suggest they put in an escalator to the 400 seats. Other than that, no upgrades need apply to people like me who go to the rink for a hockey game and not watching food and money pass in front of my face all game long. Tnank you.

Anaheim Calling said...

I'm not sure if nonsense can be prevented in the luxury levels in Southern California. I know the Staples Center has a terrace bar where people hang out instead of going to their seats, effectively paying to watch the game on TV in a bar.

I'm sure I'll appreciate the cup holders as time goes by; I just can't jump up and down about it.

Joe said...

WTF? You have cupholders in your arena???

I didn't see any at the Pepsi Center here in Denver (although I was waaaay up top), and I don't recall any at my nice seats down by the glass at the Joe Louis. The Joe has an excuse, I guess, being like 30+ years old, but the Pepsi Center is only a little more than 10 years old.

I dunno, I don't really like the idea of cupholders in my arenas. Its already hard to get around and through aisles, and sticking a giant knob on the end of each arm to hold your drink just makes it worse, to say nothing of the giant drink sitting in the cup holder.

Anaheim Calling said...

Weird the Pepsi center doesn't have it; you'd think a beverage sponsor would care about that sort of thing. In our case, Arrowhead might have sold more water if there were cup holders from the start.

There are definitely drawbacks, as you've noted, and the old school ballparks do fine without it (although lack of amenities is sort of part of the charm).

But I feel this is so logical. I drink more beer when I don't have to reach under my seat for it, or alternatively, hold it until it gets warm. I stand up for every goal, and this allows me to put my beer down as I get to my feet. I never have to worry about kicking my beer or someone's food falling into my beer. Hmm, I swear there were reasons unrelated to beer...

Anonymous said...

Trust me, these cup holders suck in my opinion. You can't get in an out of the seat very easily and I'm a normal sized guy. I can't imagine anyone who is surly overweight being able to get in and out of them. Not to mention, they are way too big and way too shallow. Makes a decent cell phone holder but that's about it. I'm sure I'll throw out my back at some point of the season jumping up to cheer a goal and trying to twist to get out of it quickly. There will be more spilled drinks with these than without. They should have followed other arenas and had them installed on the floor behind the seats in front of you.

Anaheim Calling said...

DANIEL: I agree with anonymous. The cup holders at Dodger Stadium are attached to the seat in front of you and that is much more convenient. I stand by my original opinion though. I'm much more interested in fixing some of the awful food we serve, than I am in having a cup holder. I've been going to Ponda Center for almost a decade now, and I never needed one before.

It's a nice convenience, but I expect more.