Is the Eagles hoagie ban all about the lettuce? Or does the team have a legitimate concern about fan safety?
Noted junk-food gourmand and governor of the commonwealth, Ed Rendell, has come down on the side of the Eagles.
“The governor supports the ban,” said Kate Philips, Rendell’s press secretary. “He believes there is a real risk when people bring packages into a stadium . . .
“We’re moving into a new societal norm, where we have to deal with risks like someone potentially bringing in dangerous material into the stadium.
“This is good public policy, to protect the fans. There’s a legitimate security concern. This is not about price-gouging.
Maybe, but many fans aren’t buying it.
Here’s a sampling of opinion from the hundreds of letters, faxes and e-mails we’ve received, and other news sources:
“As a former state senator
who helped provide taxpayers dollars for both stadiums, I just couldn’t believe they would have the gall to not allow food. The fact is that $185 million was allocated for both stadiums. This was tax monies. When they sold the right to name the stadium, I did not see any of that money come back to the state.
I can understand security concerns, but surely the requirement of a clear plastic bag that can easily be viewed would alleviate this alleged problem. This just seems to be another instance of greed taking over just as it did when they raised the price of the tickets and refreshments. They have done virtually everything to be obstructionist to the people. If I were still a ticket holder I would be looking into a class action suit; certainly, I would not continue patronizing the games. ”
Frank “Hank” Salvatore former state senator
“If the tickets weren’t so expensive, maybe the people wouldn’t have to pack a lunch. I can’t imagine why they have to be that harsh, other than they want to sell their own hot dogs.”
– Councilman Frank Rizzo
“I think they should be more worried about someone pulling up on I-95 with a rocket-propelled grenade and launching it into the crowd . . . The proximity to I-95 is a real concern, not hoagies.”
– Eagles fan Bill Farnan, Marmora, N.J.
“I have never written my thoughts on Philly-related subjects before; I’m often tempted because although my family and I live in Florida, my wife and I and two sons were born and raised in Northeast Philly and were Eagles season ticket holders for years.
We read your paper online down here and yesterday’s announcement by the Eagles has a special impact on us. Every year between the Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays we come to Philly to visit family and friends and we’ve made it a habit to adjust our schedule to make sure we go to an Eagles home game. The gameday ritual has been to get up early, drive around the old neighborhood and, before meeting our friends to go to the game, we’d stop at our favorite Lee’s and pick up hoagies and cheesesteaks for 6 to 8 of us and some soft pretzels and head to the Vet. (I’m sure you know this but you just can’t find a “real” cheesesteak, hoagie or soft pretzel in South Florida)
We would wait till gameday to get our first Philly steak/hoagie fix. My kids and friends looked forward to the whole program.
Yesterday’s announcement did us in. We’ll still be coming north around the holidays, but the Eagles home game is off the schedule. It’s not necessarily that we can’t afford the higher food prices at the stadium, it’s more the distinct feeling that our lifetime home team has kicked us in the teeth and said ‘Screw you, your family and friends and your little ritual – we’re gonna gouge you anyway, and if you don’t like it, stay in Florida. ‘
That’s pretty much how our entire group feels. So a few hundred bucks or so that has gone to our Eagles each of the past roughly ten years will translate into at least one more Dolphins home game each year. Maybe if Lurie and company read more letters like this they’d have a change of heart – but knowing them, not likely.
– Dick Haller, Palm Beach, Fla.