Living the suite life

April 19th, 2007

My Easter break afforded me a rare opportunity. I scored a suite ticket to a Buffalo Bandits indoor lacrosse game. However, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

All sporting events have a certain electricity to them, but the National Lacrosse League provides a slightly more electric product.

Unlike most major sports, the NLL allows for music and PA announcing to take place during play. Announcers are able to give play-by-play or make fun of the away team. With the involvement from the announcers, fans are able to be very included in the game. Especially at an NLL game, sitting down with the rest of the fans gives you the whole experience. You lose the game day electricity when you are sitting in a separate room.

Sitting up in a suite did not give me the same experience as I would have had if I were sitting in the general admission seats.

Suites are cute little extensions of an arena complete with waiters, televisions and private bathrooms. But where is the fun? You pay double the price of a lower bowl ticket for seats that are 10 feet from being qualified as nose bleeds.

Aside from not waiting for the bathroom, there are no great advantages to a suite. If you want to order food, be prepared to spend more than you already do at a game since the arena staff seems to think when you walk into a suite you lose all control of spending. I know, I jump at the opportunity to spend over $ 20 on chicken fingers that serve three to four people.

The point of going to a game is to be amongst fellow fans, not separated by glass like an exhibit at the zoo. Even if the guy behind you, who is on his eighth Labatt Blue, is trying to read your program there is nothing better than jumping out of your seat and celebrating with the strange people sitting around you.

Ask yourself a question – would you rather have been tucked in a suite or in the stands of Yankee Stadium when every fan was asking Pedro if he knew who his daddy was? Maybe you would rather be in a suite than amongst the faithful fans that have come out for a mid-November Browns-Steelers match up?

That last question may be more or less attractive in the eye of the beholder, but there are two different worlds in a stadium.

Regardless of the section you are in, there are thousands of your peers cheering on your hometown team in hopes there may be a victory when the clock reads zero. When the playoffs roll around there is even more vigor amongst the fans since there is no guarantee how long your team will last.

However, you get no game day experience in a suite. Unless you reach around your protective glass barrier to the suite next door, there is no celebrating with the rest of the crowd. Another part of being at the game is rooting against the opposing fans that made the trip. Unfortunately in a suite you can’t root against opposing fans.

Realistically if you wanted to sit in an easy chair and drink with your pinky up, you could have stayed home and saved enough to go and actually experience the game.

If anything, your home offers the same comforts of a suite, maybe more. You have a private bathroom, no wait for food and no traffic to deal with when the game is over. Of course you then have to deal with color commentators talking over the action of the game.

The term spectator sport applies to the people in the stadium with you. When you are separated from them you don’t really get the spectator’s experience. To me, spending more money on seats that aren’t the best in the house for a few extra amenities is not worth forgoing the best part of paying for a ticket to the game.