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Major View Obstruction at the IAAF WIC in Portland

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  • Major View Obstruction at the IAAF WIC in Portland

    This past weekend I attended the USATF Indoor Champs and took a look at the seats I bought tickets for at the IAAF World Indoor champs this next weekend. I knew they’d be pretty sweet because when the tickets went on sale to the walk-up public at Portland’s Pioneer Square last May 27th I was fifth in line, dropping $3,000 for nine tickets

    To say the least, I was surprised to find seven of my seats just a few rows in back of the only significant view obstruction in the otherwise excellent building – a floor-to-ceiling pillar, five seats wide, in the fourth row – D - of the section in front of ours – section 120. This was never part of any published seating chart I could find. If I had known about it I certainly would not have bought them. The picture is a straight ahead shot from one of my seats, section 220, row J, seat 7.

    A huge number of seats sitting behind row D in sections 119, 120, 121, 219, 220 and 221 are affected to some degree large or small. Again, the pillar is in the fourth row of the section closest to the track, and causes problems for everyone behind it. I did not count but am guessing there are 20 rows of seats behind this pillar.

    There is a process in place to mitigate this, by calling the TicketsWest people at 503-224-8499. They are certainly aware of the situation and they were able to swap my tickets for seats in section 223 across from the finish line, for every session except Saturday evening. Your mileage may vary.

    While I am glad on one level to get to a solution that removes the pillar from our view, the fact is that a significant number of seats were sold with a huge obstruction in front of them without informing the purchasers, and it was a pain in the ass to get it ‘fixed’. If I had not attended the USATF meet, my friends from Canada, England and around the US would have shown up Thursday to watch a monster pillar for five days. This is a major fuck up.


    view from section 220 row j seat 7.jpg
    Last edited by bad hammy; 03-16-2016, 12:33 AM.

  • #2
    LOL, those are truly terrible.

    Seriously, who installs seats like that and then with a straight face sells them to the public?
    There are no strings on me

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    • #3
      I don't mean to laugh at the situation but the picture conjures up an image of a Monty Python routine.

      They've got to be kidding.

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      • #4
        there is a similar pillar (enclosing major i-beams) on the other side of the track, but the good news is that it doesn't impinge on any seat views. The bad news is that from the announcing booth we can't see the entry ramp from which they announce the athletes.

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        • #5
          I'm a bit pissed that I joined the OTC, was 3rd on the list for tickets and wound up in 222 opposite, instead of on, the finish line. Same thing happened for all the OTC people who supposedly were going to get the best seats. Until your post, I had just assumed that the IAAF had gobbled up all the seats on the finish line side.

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          • #6
            In row D Section 119...not behind...hoping for the best

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1runner1 View Post
              In row D Section 119...not behind...hoping for the best
              In addition to the seven seats I have/had in section 220 row J, I also have two tickets in the offending row where the pillar resides - section 120 row D. In my opinion, the pillar should not be a problem for folks in row D.

              Enjoy the meet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bad hammy View Post
                In addition to the seven seats I have/had in section 220 row J, I also have two tickets in the offending row where the pillar resides - section 120 row D. In my opinion, the pillar should not be a problem for folks in row D.

                Enjoy the meet.
                I have 220, row P, seats 12-13. Going to call this morning.

                BTW, are all the "bleacher" sections actual seats with backs, or are they bench seating?
                Thanks,
                Alan Shank
                Woodland, CA, USA

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                • #9
                  Bleachers are bench seating, no backs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bad hammy View Post

                    There is a process in place to mitigate this, by calling the TicketsWest people at 503-224-8499. They are certainly aware of the situation and they were able to swap my tickets for seats in section 223 across from the finish line, for every session except Saturday evening. Your mileage may vary.
                    I called Tickets West just now; the guy who answered was only vaguely aware of the situation, and he said someone would call me back. I'm waiting. More later.
                    Cheers,
                    Alan Shank
                    Woodland, CA, USA

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                    • #11
                      Just got off the phone with them and my guy (I wish I had gotten his name) was well aware of the issue and even took the time to look at various shots of the track. He assured me that 222 J would have an unobstructed view of the infield and that there might only be an instant or two where the outside track lanes leading into the home stretch might have a bit of an obstruction. Hope he's right since most races aren't going to involve runners trying to pass at the top of the curves. Still, WTF were they thinking? Not a single post at the Crossplex in Birmingham and if one looks at the track layout video, they hid the posts with a grey screen as they were installing the first half of the track.....then the posts show up as the second half is installed. There are going to be a lot of unhappy people who don't read this board.

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                      • #12
                        Just talked to "Steve", who talked to another person who was "more intimate" with the situation. He told me that my seats for Thursday had been changed to 112 E 11-12, but I wouldn't have known this had I not called. They are supposed to be waiting for us at Will Call. He said that, for the other days of the meet, they had determined that our seats would not be affected very much (sounds unlikely), but the would be a "Resolution Center" set up somewhere in the Convention Center to handle seating issues. So, we're going down Thursday to get those tickets at Will Call and then check out our other seats to see whether it's worth while trying to get them changed.

                        The Organizing Committee, the Convention Center and Tickets West all deserve censure for this mess.
                        Cheers,
                        Alan Shank
                        Woodland, CA, USA

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                        • #13
                          Do they also have an egress section?

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                          • #14
                            Got our replacement seats OK, but just for tonight. The seats were excellent for the vault, except the lights were so bright I could barely see the crossbars.

                            Checked out our sec. 220 seats -- definitely obstructed. The runners will go out of sight near the 100m mark, then again on the last turn entering the homestretch. I won't see the shot area at all, but will be able to see the high jump and horizontal jumps fine.

                            I asked for relief, and they said that my seats weren't obstructed enough to warrant changing them, as there aren't that many unsold seats, anyway. Track Town really blew this.

                            Even without the column, the sight lines are bad, because the angle is too shallow. On the backstretch, you can't see the outer couple of lanes.

                            The music was very loud and annoying (a lot of EDM), but this has been coming on for a long time. A lady in back of us knew the words to practically every song.

                            I loved the way the competition was conducted, however, being able to see every single vault and chart both events at the same time. Too bad Demi Payne was not there; in the IAAF documents I downloaded a few days ago, she was listed, but not on the start lists that came out earlier today.

                            It was really a shame about Alana Boyd, who injured herself warming up and was taken out in a wheelchair.
                            Cheers,
                            Alan Shank
                            Woodland, CA, USA

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                            • #15
                              Payne was an alternate. That document you had was just a list of entries.

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