Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nobody actually lives here

Nobody goes to the games either
Longtime Saints fans have been grumbling this year about the way other teams' fans are making themselves loud in a building that used to be considered a noticeable boost for the Saints.

“In some losses, it sounds like it’s for the other team,” said Larry Rolling, who has been attending Saints games as a season ticket holder for more than 30 years.

Rolling sits in Section 135, where he is known for making a different sign for every game. He’s a vocal Saints fan, and he said it has been disappointing to see some of the colors he has seen.

“We had that neon green in the stands,” he said, referring to the Oct. 30 game against the Seahawks, a 25-20 Saints win.

“That orange, it just sticks out,” he continued, referring to a Nov. 13 two-point loss to the Broncos.

The visiting fans were especially noticeable at those two games, along with the game against the Lions, Rolling said.
People are ready with explanations and excuses. The only one I'm sympathetic to, though, is that tickets and concessions are expensive.  People cope with that by selling their tickets to a game or two. That's fine. Has been going on forever. Although it's become far more common that the buyers are visiting fans rather than locals because nobody actually lives here. A lot of Saints season tickets are held by people and businesses who aren't necessarily based in town and drive in for games from surrounding parishes and from Mississippi.  If they can't make it, either because money is tight or the team isn't doing so well, they sell via Stubhub to tourists Airbnbing in from wherever.

You can say whatever you want about how it's common practice in other cities, or a reflection of the NFL's marketing strategy, or new technologies, etc. All of that would be true. But it's also a clear indication that our city and many other cities like it is no longer the kind of place where people live and work anymore. Rather it is an exclusive and hollow showcase of conspicuous consumption for rootless elites, and luxury travelers.

Our cities are "renewed" in the new century. They are full of life and lifestyle events.  But nobody actually lives there.

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