On Saturday, Dec. 10, my boyfriend and I attended the Spartan Clash basketball game at the Palace. We had tickets for section 226, row 2, seats 17 and 18. About 5-10 minutes before the start of the game, we heard an announcement over the loudspeaker system, stating that the fans in section 226 would be relocated to better seats, in section 126. My boyfriend and I were extremely excited (as was the whole section) and looked around to see if we could see a staff member giving out directions. We did not, and decided to follow most of the other folks from the section down to 126. Upon our arrival there, the usher had no idea what was going on. She hadn't heard the announcement, etc., and went to confer with another usher--who was also clueless. She returned to us and said, "Um...did they give you another ticket? You should go back to your section."
We headed back upstairs to find a young lady apparently raffling off a limited number of tickets by seat number. Our numbers were not chosen, and in fact one group of 4 was awarded 2 tickets to sit downstairs, and when they asked the girl if there was anything she could do, she said, "oh, well, this is my first event, and I don't really know anything. They just told me to give away those 14 tickets here. Sorry!"
By now, it was only a moment or two to game time. I left my boyfriend in the section and went to find out exactly what was going on. After speaking to 2 ushers, a security guard, and a man with a radio, I started to realize that not only was no one going to be able to help me, but that no one knew much of anything. At one point, the man with the radio explained to me that since no one was answering his calls, I'd have to go to Guest Services, and should get into the elevator behind him. I did so, and the elevator operator closed the doors, whereupon we did not go anywhere, but remained at the 3rd floor for nearly 5 minutes. Finally, since the game had already started, and I wasn't any nearer to finding someone with authority, I decided not to pursue the matter any further.
I understand that there were only a certain number of fans who were reasonably able to be moved, and that our numbers weren't chosen. However, I have a real problem with the way the Palace staff handled the situation. There should have been someone in our section who explained that SOME of us would move, before the announcement was made. I was also frustrated by my complete inability to get in touch with anyone who could help me. My boyfriend was disappointed, as well--he is a graduate of Michigan State and a rabid fan of the basketball team. Between the letdown over not having better seats as announced (at probably the only game we'll be able to attend this year) and the running around and missing the first few minutes of the game, we were both fairly upset.
I wanted to let you know that I think the venue staff handled the situation poorly. No matter how much is going on at the start of a game, there should be folks available to field customer requests and/or complaints. I'd enjoy knowing what your staff will do to address this problem. Obviously I'll still return to the Palace--in fact, we have tickets for Thursday's Aerosmith concert. However, I'd be very unwilling to approach any staff with a problem due to their proven inability to give me any results, and will in fact be less likely to look forward to coming to the Palace in the future.