Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Just How Bad Was Jacksonville As Super Bowl Host City? Well...

My good friend Beth Schnitzer and her brothers, my friends Steve and Rayzin, were thoughtful enough to write down the events of their trip to Jacksonville for me, and trying to see it as a competiting Super Bowl Bid head (me) would have looked at it.

Below is what Steve sent to me today, formatted cursorily to preserve his chatty writing style. But some notes, before you start: "Jayville," is of course, Jacksonville. And they stayed on one of the cruise ships that were brought in to double as hotels, so there are references to their stay on it.

Ok, here you go!

zen thanks for everything.

We had a great time with beth even though:
1. we couldn't buy a thing on the ship except meals because they were goverened by customs or some maritime agcy
2. nobody did the homework to figure out that...
3. the ships were too tall to get under the bridges, so they put us in outer port space. (fox got under the bridge and set up right downtown and that was great)
4. so we need a shuttle to get from the ship to a holding tent where you
5. had to get another shuttle (additional $45) to town or a free shuttle to the parking lot (which cost an extr $55 with mailing)
6. ok for that, but secutity all along the way ship, shuttle, and central tent with airline xray screeners.
7. ok th port of jayville looks like shit so they spent 3-4hunge
gr to move around the empty cargo containers to build a fort or fence and put some colored spots on them to look like a movie opening.

Plus, to get to the port you had to go past the worst homes in town which they covered them and the crummy repair shops with some sort of semi transparent sheet that stretched like a 'cristo wrap the town' sculpture.

What else?
1. No friggin taxis so any schmuck with a car or van would pick you up for a $20+
2. the subway worked, but nobody knew where it went, and there were alot of pukers on that at all times (stunk)
3. The venues were so stretched out that it was almost impossible to get from one to the other without having a car or limo. (the beach was nice though)
4. everyone was super nice and helpful but they didn't coordinate with one another ex:
5. on checking the people at one table didn't know that the shuttle wristbands were being sold 20 ft. away.
6. also it took 2 days for people to figure out that they sold newspapers 40 ft. away.
7. THE GAME besides the fact that they funneled all people with or without tickets down the same packed st, we got there intact.
8. However they ran out of food at the half no more hotdogs! and the stadium had really bad seats (way too tiny for football fans, but probably ok for ballet goers).
9. After the game getting out of the stadium was a pain. egress was way over taxed.(the collaseum in rome was better).
10. And once you got out NOBODY knew where to go, and there were not enough cops and security (that is where you
needed them, and not around the rich and docile ocean liner guests) finding a shuttle to get home amongst pissed off eagle fans, drunken pats pukers, and thousands of lost patrons was a sight for sore eyes. (why i didn't where
my running/hiking shoes was a bad error).

Everything else was cool EXCEPT FOR THE LAST 3 HOURS.
1. at 5AM (yeah AM) this hated ding, diing, diiing (in
escalating octaves) to wake us up and tell us that we had to get out by 8-8:45AM so that they could get to ft. lauderdale for another cruise to the Bahamas. (ok so i put a pillow over my head and tried to get back to sleep)

But the cursed ding, diing, diiing at 6AM, them 7AM. ray and i got up and thought about breakfast, but they screwed us on that the last day (should have been included) and we had to pay incidentals (by the way, they put on an added $10/day/person gratuity, but enough people bitched, so they took it off. the nerve!) now let me say, i have been to quite a few superbowls and this was probably as bad as the Atl. mess with the ridiculous ice storm, and the transportation mess there.

But, jayville did have an incredible staff of smiling helpers to go around, great crabcakes and gulf shrimp (but N.O.
is still the best for food), a pretty good game (even though i lost on the point spread , taking the pats, with that last bogus eagle's td), the beers were colder and more plentiful here than any other, and the souvenirs went half price, quickly, the day after the game (that helped with the army of cooks i had to buy for).

So all in all i ranked it a c maybe a c-. no more…don't know how that will stack up to motor city (Detroit), but there is plenty of room to take over the bottom slot.

later steven schnitzer