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.
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.