If you read only one blog full of ranting and raving about sports (local and otherwise), movies, TV shows, miscellaneous pop culture, life and other assorted flotsam and jetsam, make it this one!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why An Earthquake Should Bring Down Xfinity Live

A few weeks ago I bought a ticket to Wednesday night's Phillies game. I wasn't planning to go originally, even though they were giving the t-shirt pictured to all fans 15 and over. Then I read that the Phils set up their starting rotation so that Roy Halladay was pitching that night. In the previous two years I haven't seen him pitch once in person. I've only been to a few games the last couple of years but every time I went someone else pitched. So I got a ticket.

(I almost didn't go because my mom passed away the day before, but I spoke to one of my brothers and he said she wouldn't want me to waste the ticket, which I sort of felt myself, and it wasn't as if I was missing the funeral or needed for anything else related to it.)

I figured I could check out what has come to be known as Xfinity Live. (Officially the title ends with an exclamation point but I refuse to use it.) When plans to tear down the Spectrum were first announced, it was known as Philly Live, and was quite ambitious. A shopping/dining/entertainment experience, perhaps even a hotel, was planned. Although I hate that the Spectrum had to go (I'd have liked to see them build around it somehow), the idea sounded really exciting.

It became less exciting when the project was delayed and scaled back due to the economic meltdown.

Then they decided that it would be given the same bizarre made-up name that Comcast came up with for its cable, internet and phone services because the name "Comcast" had such a poor reputation.

As it was nearing completion, it still intrigued me, even being smaller and poorly named. Then I started hearing about VIP sections. As I am not a VIP, nor can I afford to buy my way into being seen as one, I find such things elitist.

The place consists of five separate eating and drinking establishments, including a beer hall, a place with a mechanical bull, and one being a sports bar with a 32-foot HDTV screen. It also has what's called Philly Marketplace, which is the largest open space inside the building and features foods from various local establishments such as Chickie's and Pete's and Nick's Roast Beef.

Basically, what we have here is a food court on steroids. A shopping mall without the shopping, but with valet parking.

Yet this place has the NERVE to refuse admission to anyone carrying a backpack, as I found out on Wednesday, when I tried to check the place out for myself before heading over to the Phillies game.

And I wasn't even carrying a real backpack! You can see the bag here -- it doesn't even have multiple or hidden compartments!

I was angry. I told the security dimwit who informed me of their policy that it was asinine. He began to say, "You can roll it up and -- " but I cut him off, cursed and walked away. Roll it up and what? Carry it? Put it in my pants pocket? Wear it on my head like a hat? Besides, it has things in it. That's what bags do. They contain things.

And if you can find a way for me to roll up my tablet computer, be sure to let me know.

Seriously. This type of "security" is needed for a food court on steroids? It's not like I could go lock the bag in my car. Those of us without cars don't have that luxury. I am so angry at this. I have no idea if I'll ever be able to set foot in the place. I'd like to say I don't want to go and that the idea expressed in this post's title should come true. But what can I say? I'm still curious about the 32-foot HDTV and the place in general. But I'm so furious at Xfinity Comcast, which owns and runs the place.

I told a friend that because they own the Flyers and because of right-wing nut chairman Ed Snider, that I was rooting for the Penguins to beat the Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I've still been ambivalent on the Flyers because of Wayne Simmonds' anti-gay slur, even with three other Flyers (with James van Riemsdyk recently joining Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell) participating in the "You Can Play" project. This just made it worse. Although I've calmed down a bit from that insanity -- I mean, rooting for whiny Sidney Crosby? Ugh! -- but I'm not excited like I was in past years.

Between that and the cold weather and some of the morons sitting around me at the Phillies game, I was pretty disgusted. Fortunately, the Phils' bats woke up enough to give Halladay and me a 7-1 win. But if someone at Xfinity or Comcast or whatever happens to read this: your moronic policy has to go. If I can take my bag into the ballpark or the Linc or even the arena that you own, there's no reason I can't take it into your Food Court on Steroids.

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