God bless America

New England RevolutionGod bless America.

Yesterday, my son and I made a two-hour journey to the other side of the state to watch the New England Revolution take on the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

It was a beautiful day to take in a soccer match at one of the country’s premier stadiums. Gillette Stadium is but five years old, and home of the three-time Superbowl winning New England Patriots.

Overall, it was a great experience. The soccer action was fantastic, and when yellow-shoed Taylor Twellman scored the game’s only goal, it was fun that muskets and fireworks were shot into the sky.

But there is one thing about the experience that still chaps my butt. My 8-year-old son and I packed a small knapsack with suntan lotion, books for the bus ride, two 20 oz. bottles filled with tap water, some snacks, and a few of his favorite stuffed animals to keep him company for the long bus ride there and back. Foolishly, I did not leave the knapsack on the bus, but took it with me to the stadium in case we wanted something in the knapsack during the game. What I didn’t anticipate was that security would allow no food or beverage in the stadium.

Outside the gates, security was checking all bags. Were they checking for improvised explosive devices in the bags? Were they looking to thwart a potential terrorist attack? No, they were making sure that no outside food and beverages were tainting their captive food and drink sales.

They made me throw two 20-oz. bottles of tap water into a garbage can before I could enter the stadium.

FootballHeaven forbid that my home-tap-water-filled 20 oz. bottle of water would prevent them from making $3.75 on a bottle of water purchased inside the stadium.

Feeling satisfied that they had performed their commercial duty, the security official didn’t even both searching my knapsack further, or else he would have discovered two CapriSun lemonade 6.75 oz. drink pouches. These are actually made by Kraft, so Mr. Kraft can feel good knowing that he’s already made some money there. [thanks to Bill Dusty for setting me straight and providing a link on how Kraft earned his fortune.]

I could understand if they were preventing alcohol from being brought into the premises. By limiting alcohol, the stadium staff can keep the crowd from getting too rowdy. I could even understand if they were preventing outside food from being brought in. Perhaps even soda. But tap water? I can’t bring a bottle of tap water into the confines of Gillette Stadium? Whatever happened to public drinking fountains? I didn’t see any of them inside.

Here’s where it gets really crazy: The town of Foxboro even admits it doesn’t have enough water for the high-water-usage 68,000 seat stadium, and therefore the developers have created an enormous, sophisticated, expensive water-reuse system. So when I bring my tap water 100 miles to the stadium, you make me throw it in a garbage can???

For the record, I did not purchase a bottle of water in the stadium. I did purchase other food and drink, but no different than what I would have done, had not Security made me throw away my two bottles of tap water.

I think this is a public disgrace. I can’t believe the state of Massachusetts and the town of Foxboro allowed Mr. Kraft to build a stadium without public drinking fountains. Shame on you, Robert Kraft, and the Kraft family.

I hope any green-minded people reading this blog chime in! Here’s hoping that one dad on one very small blog can make a difference.

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7 Responses to “God bless America”

  1. Dan Veasey Says:

    Wow. We eat really healthy and have never had a problem bringing healthy food into places for our kids. We’ve been to Disney, MGM, Epcot, Kings Dominion, and Busch Gardens in the last 10 months and brought almost a whole case of bottled water with us on each visit. It’s hard to believe they made you throw out tap water. I went to Redskins practice a couple weeks ago and they only checked for alcohol.

  2. Walt Everhardt Says:

    This is typical of the business end of pro sports. NO you can’t bring in water – NO you can’t drink from a free water fountain – BUT YES you can buy at $3.75 bottle of water! Wasn’t this the David Beckham game where the Revolution made people buy tickets to four games so that they can get a ticket to this game?

    A couple of years ago we went to a soccer game at The Meadowlands, and at that time in the post-9/11 NY, security was searching bags, but was more interested in safety, as opposed to bringing in food.

  3. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hi Walt,

    Yes, this was the game where Beckham came to sign autographs. I don’t know what the ticket policy was since I went to the game via a local town-sponsored bus trip. What I do know is that the stadium opened up double the amount of seats it normally sells for a soccer game, and it was sold out because of the English star. And he didn’t play a minute. I’m so glad that the Revs beat the Galaxy!

    But anyway, yes I could understand if security was searching bags for the purpose of safety, stopping terrorist threats (not that security is any good at doing that.) But searching to prevent water from coming in…. yeesh.

  4. Bill Dusty Says:

    Kraft made is money in the paper industry, actually. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kraft

  5. Butch Holley Says:

    Definate Brand Pimp. I linked your story on my blog.

  6. rshevlin Says:

    I shouldn’t admit this publicly, Morriss, but let me tell you what I do when I encounter situations like the one you were in: I lie.

    I tell the “enforcer” that my children can’t drink the water (or whatever) that they serve because of a condition called PTCP (I don’t tell them it stands for “parents too cheap to pay”), and then I ask them if they realize that while it’s legal for them to check my bag, that it’s actually illegal for them to prevent me from taking in my food and water, and that if they STILL have a problem, that I’m more than willing to wait right here until they get their supervisor, and that if they won’t do that, that I will go get their supervisor for them…..

    But by then, I’m usually in w/ my water and food.

  7. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hey Ron,

    Great idea. I was too shocked in disbelief to think of a great trick like this. Perhaps I’ll try this out the next time I’m in a situation like this one.

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