As a lifelong National Basketball Association fan, I consider Atlanta a great pro basketball city. Our hometown heroes, the Atlanta Hawks, are one of the most exciting young teams in the league. And unlike other major cities- where tickets are either impossible to find or prohibitively expensive– gaining entry into Philips Arena for a Hawks game is almost too easy. At my most recent pilgrimage to “”the highlight factory“” I sat in $70 seats for a mere $8 a ticket (thanks, StubHub).
While I’ve got plenty to say about the game experience, I’ll leave it to the experts. What I do want to talk about is the television that was hanging from the upper deck, above my seat:
See, Philips Arena has these televisions throughout the arena, in areas where the jumbo-tron is obstructed by the upper level. The idea- or at least I think- is to update fans on the game’s box score. Rather than utilizing one of Philips snazzy HD 50-inchers, the arena still relies on old school 19″”, cathode-ray sets, most likely installed in 1999 when the arena was first constructed. The resulting product looks like a cross between an Atari 2600 and one of those bus-terminal style televisions that feeds on quarters.
Clearly, Philips knows more about manufacturing and marketing televisions than I do. And yes, I know that they do not own Philips Arena– they simply pay for naming rights – but when you’re paying over nine million dollars per year for said naming rights, don’t you think you should also provide a product that might actually excite consumers enough to- I don’t know- maybe want to purchase it someday? Philips can probably get a pretty sweet deal on their own televisions, and I’d imagine that replacing the same television that I once crowded around to watch the last episode of Seinfeld, might just be worth it.
Rant over. Let’s Go Hawks!