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Watching games on television? Now that's the ticket

With costs continually rising, plus the escalating violence at more and more events, it just makes no sense to leave your home.

August 25, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • Fans at Danny K's Sports Cafe & Billiards in Orange watch a Ducks playoff game.
Fans at Danny K's Sports Cafe & Billiards in Orange watch a Ducks… (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles…)

You people baffle me.

Why would you contend with L.A. traffic, pay as much as $25 to park when teams should be happy you are still showing up in these difficult times? You buy a ticket, food, drink and call it a good night if you're not shot, stabbed, beaten up or sickened by the stench of the guy who is cussing and sitting next to you.

Are you that thirsty for a beer?

You go to a game these days, and you already know it's like a walk across the park late at night. Maybe you make it home, maybe you don't.

Two people were shot outside Candlestick Park, another left beaten in a bathroom. We know what happened outside Dodger Stadium on opening day, and only last December more than 40 USC-UCLA fans in a melee left two people stabbed.

Thank heavens none of our local teams are any good; no need to worry about celebratory riots.

You want to attend a game these days, and beyond guts it takes a loan. One way or another, you're gonna get hurt.

So how does it feel to be played for fools?

Over at UCLA they are hammering away to spruce up Pauley Pavilion and provide more seating.


Well, they want more of your money.

The Bruins' basketball team played 34 games in the building the last two years, failed to sell out and drew fewer than 9,000 fans on 26 occasions.

The Bruins are still coached by Ben Howland — nice guy, good coach, but the basketball is dreadfully boring. It doesn't matter what building he's working in.

The only thing that will change will be the cost of the UCLA basketball experience. Longtime donors, for example, previously paid $6,592 for four tickets and will be obliged to pay $17,592 for the same view but in fancier seats.

It appears we're also going to have a new football stadium downtown, and there will almost have to be a new Dodger Stadium.

If you think Dodger Stadium is starting to have a Sports Arena feel to it, wait until the football stadium opens by way of comparison and the rich folks settle into their Staples Center and Farmers Field luxury boxes.

OK, so football coming to town is probably a boon for AEG, which may sell more condos downtown, and congratulations to anyone else who might benefit by getting a job.

I'll go to the games, of course, getting in free with a press pass and hoping the company still pays for parking and food.

But I'm not so sure AEG wouldn't be better off building a massive studio, placing a football field inside and making it a TV show like we've never seen before.

I think we're going to see attendance drop everywhere in sports as stadiums become too costly and dangerous for families.

That's why TV money, which is guaranteed money, is so important to teams. The Lakers, for example, have struck a new deal that will ensure their financial success for decades whether you come to the games or you don't.

Ask yourself, as you notice things changing: Why would you ever consider going to a sporting event again? And why would you if the event was being shown on TV?

When is the last time you stood in line to go to the bathroom in your own home?

As it is, the folks in the Los Angeles area should understand better than anyone, it's no great loss staying home.

You take two NFL teams away at the same time and don't replace them for a span of 17 years, and as anyone here could tell you, it makes for great TV.

Yes, I'm excited about the return of the Chargers, but only because I look forward to tormenting the Goofs.

The rest of you should be very upset; many of you no longer will get as many NFL games on TV once the Chargers arrive.

And for those among you who intend to buy tickets, you are about to be ripped off.

It's going to cost at least a car payment to attend a Chargers game, but that won't be enough for the Chargers and the NFL. The NFL has a long-standing policy of ripping off fans.

Those who purchase season tickets are required to buy tickets to the team's preseason games as well, and at full price. That means San Diego fans saw Philip Rivers for 10 plays against Seattle, and at full price.

Everyone in and around football understands this is highway robbery, and yet no one goes to jail.

The Chargers went a nervy step further this year. Anyone who wanted to attend just the regular-season game with Green Bay was also required to buy the team's first preseason game against Seattle.

It makes almost no sense to watch preseason football with teams not playing their best players very much, but to watch an exhibition without the ability to switch to "Big Brother" is insanity.

As solid as L.A. has been in not rolling over to NFL demands the last 17 years, it would be nice if the folks making the deal to bring a team back acted on behalf of L.A. fans and said, "no"' to the NFL's preseason scam.

It would be nice if they insisted on lower ticket prices for games that don't count, providing an opportunity for those who might never get the chance to go to a regular-season NFL game a peek inside the new downtown Taj Mahal.

Now I sound like you: clueless.

But then you're probably busy and have a Dodgers game to attend this weekend.

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