Friday, June 24, 2011

South America

It's going to be quiet for a few weeks here at BBB, as I'll be taking my annual summer vacation, this time to South America.

I'm hoping to see a little bit of this...

...and some of this...

...and I have plans to see this...

...before finally ending up here.

It's a little bit whirlwind, a little bit simple, and hopefully a lotta bit fun. Stay tuned for potential updates from the flipside of the Americas. Otherwise, enjoy your summer, peeps.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brodie Brazil to have some Sharks news for us in less than an hour; UPDATE = Devin Setoguchi extended for 3 years

UPDATE = Holy crap Devin Setoguchi got traded along with Charlie Coyle (top prospect) and a first round pick for Minnesota Wild defenseman Brent Burns and a second round pick.

CSN Bay Area's Brodie Brazil is dropping some San Jose Sharks news via Twitter in a little bit... stay tuned.

And the news is that Devin Setoguchi's contract was extended by 3 years, allegedly at 3 million per year. This is conjecture, but Seto's slow start to last season probably decreased the streaky winger's financial value; this is fine by me, as the Sharks need plenty of salary cap space to sign a top defenseman, among others.

From here on out, let's hope Seto's production doesn't imitate Jonathan Cheechoo's decline, as many have said in a gross oversimplification. He has indeed had two mediocre seasons after his breakout 2008-09 season, but if his surge at the end of the regular season and his hat trick in the playoffs are any indication, the extended contract is going to pay dividends.

Go Sharks

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Win the Stanley Cup, or, How I'm Pimping My Friend's Superhuman Powers to the Highest Bidder

UPDATE = Read Patrick's version here. It's a superior telling.

For several years now, I've gone on Sharks road trips all over the continent. It's a rewarding hobby, especially when I get to take friends who've never seen a game outside of the HP Pavilion (Shark Tank). One such amigo that I've had the pleasure of traveling with is my buddy Patrick.

Smile for the camera, Patrick... ok, a smug look will suffice. (Photo taken in Chicago, November 2009)

I actually met Patrick in Chicago, since we're both members of a Sharks blog and wanted to be in the Windy City for Jeremy Roenick Heritage Night. Fun game, despite the Sharks losing in O.T. It was Patrick's first road game ever, and it would be his only one of the season.
Funny enough, or "coincidentally," the Chicago Blackhawks ended their massive Stanley Cup drought at the end of that season. We didn't think too much of it at the time, other than "crap, they went through San Jose to do so."

Patrick in Boston, February 2011

Fast forward a season, to February 2011. Patrick and I headed as far east as you can go in the NHL, to Boston. This time around, the Sharks won the game 2-0. A very fun weekend. Again, this was Patrick's only road game of the season. We joked at the time that if the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup this year, Patrick had a strange, wonderful gift.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the Boston Bruins did indeed win the Stanley Cup this evening, ending their 39-year drought. And I am beyond convinced that Patrick is indeed a superhuman. Where's Stan Lee when you need him?

Where exactly am I going with all this? So glad you asked.

You see, the economy has soured a bit over the past couple of years, and Patrick and I are not immune. Times are rough, yet hockey tickets are still absurdly high (esp. in Chicago and Boston). Yet we still want to get our road fix in this coming season... the problem is we need to start financing now.

So without further ado, in my capacity as Patrick's representative / agent, I'm pimping his Stanley Cup good luck services to the highest bidder.

To qualify, you need to be a fan of a team that the Sharks will visit next season. Sorry Habs / Senators fans, the Sharks won't be back in your towns until the season after next (although we're accepting advance bidding now!). We have yet to test outside of the Original 6 spectrum, but we'll still consider offers. Dejected Toronto Maple Leafs fans should look no further than us for a good luck charm to bless their upcoming season.

In exchange for a bid that meets our traveling and hockey viewing needs, Patrick pledges to follow the pattern set forth the past two seasons =

1. Sit in upper level seats (stupid price gouging in O6 markets...); as much as we would prefer lowers, we're doing this for you, super fan.
2. Refrain from visiting any other foreign arenas during the season, save for the HP Pavilion.
3. Stay in swanky hotels found via Hotwire.

Please contact Patrick at his sexy blog, or send me your info in a comment here at BBB. Operators are standing by.

Detroit Red Wings fans need not apply.

Cause we're the two best good luck charms that anyone can have...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

U2 traffic nightmare = web design needed

If you were involved in the U2 traffic nightmare, and wouldn't mind doing some relatively easy pro bono web design, please contact Patrick Missud at He'll send you the URL, etc. Thank you!

U2 traffic nightmare = the masses speak, Part Two

I'm attempting to give everyone's story a spot on this blog, so here are more comments and tales of woe, as well as a few snide remarks by a handful of a--holes.

Tonyvillador =

Definitely a fiasco of the utmost extreme!!! Traffic both north and south was horrible. There were cars driving in reverse to get out of the on ramp, cars turning around on the off ramp and driving in the wrong direction, cars driving over the median, we were lucky it wasn't really hot outside as people were raging in their cars and and there could have been serious rioting!!! People were jockeying for positions and I'm surprised there weren't more accidents or even fights amongst drivers breaking out. We left at 5 straight up from San Jose and hit the closed Coliseum parking gates at 10:00pm. We were told we would have to find street parking after our already 5hour journey of hell at that point! I saw one Highway patrol officer in that entire time and he was only directing people back into the merge lane on Hegenberger...bottom line...if you sell tickets, you must be able to accommodate the number of people and vehicles...that's a ticket buyer's expectation. We left early, and even if we had left around 3pm from San Jose, it wouldn't have made a difference!!! All I can say at this point, is that it's good we a sense of humor and nobody got hurt!!! I do wish the promoters or venue would at least acknowledge the fact that the traffic was totally messed up!!

wanted to leave my new favorite word to describe this:


Melinda G =

Last night was such a joke. Like many listed before, we headed from Emeryville at about 7:25, expecting a little bit of traffic, but not much. Ha ha yeah right. What was Oakland thinking? I mean seriously. It was a circus. We ended up getting into the Arena during a "Beautiful Day" like someone else said. Ironic much? When we were pulling into the overflow lot, my sisters and I were debating if they would charge to park since it was 10:15 and the show was almost over, and boy did they. When we saw they were charging $40.00 it was seriously a WTF moment. Talk about adding insult to injury.

I am so disappointed in the whole situation. One lady asked a cop on the corner why they weren't doing something to help, to his reply of "Well you should have gotten here two hours ago!" It's like uhh dude, we were in traffic two hours ago. I'm so sorry for everyone that missed most of the show. We bought our tickets when they first came out (what 2 years ago) and was so disappointed. I'm really surprised no one broke their neck walking thru the overflow parking lot. More then anything, I was shocked the line to get in went so quick. Walking over I was thinking it was going to be another mess but we walked right in. Plus getting back to the Over Flow lot was pure madness. I can't count how many times we almost got hit by a car.

The 45 minutes of U2 we saw was amazing.

But seriously FU Oakland Coliseum. Never again. I really hope U2 hears about this and maybe makes up the concert (SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!!).

This one struck a chord with me, as it's from a fellow teacher =

We live in Watsonville and left with plenty of time after making my kid leave a championship little league game after two innings. It was to be the first concert for my two sons. Spent 500 bucks two years ago. Husband and I are teachers, so this is a big deal. I grew up in the Bay Area and know the traffic but did not feel comfortable with BART and two kids and the crush that I know happens. I also was worried that BART would end at midnight. Beyond the fact that I have to drive home to Watsonville. Same traffic hell that everyone else has described. Almost went past Hegenberger and am glad I did not. Not one cop, not one security guard, not one traffic control person, no one giving us any information. Finally get to the lots ad see two parking lot guys leaning against the fence and I have to yell out the window to get information about why they were not letting anyone in. VIP passes only I am told. WTF!!!!!! Then they tell use to go on to the next lot. Sit in traffic for awhile not moving because there are a bunch of limos parked on the road and NO ONE IS DIRECTING TRAFFIC. Meanwhile I am calculating how many essays I have had to grade to pay $500 to sit in traffic. By this time, I am crying, swearing, so very sad. So we drive on. My husband wants me to take our kids and run for the concert, but I am worried we will never get connected again, which is exactly what seemed to happen to some of the people I saw who were stranded last night after the concert. Finally get into the lot, which must have been VIP because it was super close to the venue. They are still taking money even though the concert has already been going on for an hour. I ask the guy, why are you still taking money and he either takes pity on my kids or is worried this crazy forty something mom is going to go postal, so he lets me in for free. We get to the show but have to argue for our seats because someone else is sitting in them. We see about half the show. I do not get to hear Elevation, or I Will Follow or Until the End of the World. Only consolation, my eight year old guitar playing son gets to hear Vertigo and I get to see his face as he watches the Edge.

On another note on how Live NAtion totally screws people? The last concert I went to was Swell Seasonat Mountain Winery where my husband and I had the great horror of watching a man commit suicide by jumping off a three story building in front of us(not enough security) . I am still f'ed up over that experience and Live Nation did absolutely nothing to help people or return money or even discuss it. So yeah, sign me up for a class action. Someone needs to explain why all the "fees" we pay when buying tickets do not actually have anything to do with providing the support services that are actually needed to run something like this.

Our first a--hole =

Take BART - morons! Quit yer whining!

It was a pleasant experience getting in and out, just had to leave a bit early because it closed by midnight

A rebuttal =

Brilliant idea re: everyone taking BART. Because besides having to leave the concert early, I'm sure that BART could've easily handled an additional 40,000 people, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Corinn =

Two years, two hundred dollars, and 4.5 hours of the most exasperating "no-way-this-is-actually-happening" traffic...just trying to get to the one concert on our bucket list!! Shame on you Live Nation - inexcusable, unforgivable and will NOT be forgotten! Oakland PD...REALLY?? You guys looked like complete imbiciles standing around chatting it up with each other as thousands of us were trapped in undirected traffic to non-existent overflow parking! The quote from the jack-leg cop suggesting we all should have left earlier...REALLY?? 4.5 hours from Los Gatos - half of that sitting idle on the offramp and you can find ANY ACCOUNTABILITY?? I'll never be back to your fine city Oakland! Thanks for the memories!

Tanya, with her interpretation =

Once I saw how much traffic there was I just stuck to the side streets, parked at Fruitvale BART and had a gay old time. I know it must be horribly frustrating, but I'm not sure there is anyone else to blame, folks. Oakland and the Coliseum are home to major league sports events and concerts hundreds of times per year. Maybe they are not the ones at fault, eh?

An anonymous reply to Tanya =


I'm afraid the organizations you mentioned are the ones at fault. They signed up to host an event with 60,000 paying guests, therefore they should have been able to facilitate those guests.

I can vouch for being those people who left in adequate time (3 hours ahead of my desired arrival time for a journey that is usually 30 minutes), so I'm afraid the concert-goers cannot be implicated in this amateur-hour fiasco.

Zero traffic direction by police and\or "Parking" attendants....especially, and bizarrely, at traffic lights where there was no traffic in the counter direction. Zero advise or information put out through freeway signs and\or local radio stations.

The list of ineptitude's and culpabilities is long, but if needed I can dictate them later.

PS. $40 for parking in a swamp, when the concert is 50% complete? Really? At that point the organizers should have displayed common sense and parked people for free just to get them off the road.

Another response to Tanya (poor girl) =

How can you blame fans who bought tickets and expected to be able to drive to attend the concert? Since "Oakland and the Coliseum are home to major league sports events and concerts hundreds of times per year" where presumably similar quantity of fans are in attendance this wouldn't be an unreasonable expectation, correct?

Anonymous =

Left Hollister at 4:45, plenty of time to get to Oakland, right? I have been to plenty of concerts there before. WRONG! 5 hours later, we finally reach the gate only to be told the parking was full. Would have been at least another hour to get to the overflow lot, plus $40.00 (I'm told). Turned around and came home. I am soooo disappointed! I have had my tickets for over a year...

Mary Frances =

'Thanks for the memories' is right, Oakland. What a crappy experience to remember my last concert of my favorite band. I'll never go to anything at that venue again. Seriously, I thought they were joking when they wanted $40 to park in shitsville. The mud is still encrusted on my boots... looks like that's all I came away from this event with. What a waste.

Anonymous =

Biggest Cluster-F of ALL time...left San Mateo at 7pm, figured, at WORST, I'm in my seats by 8:30-8:45...WRONG. Got totally screwed by the 66th Ave exit, to the point where our best bet was do drive 10 miles north to the West Oakland BART station...fianlly arrived at my seats at 10:05...that's 3 hours from 20 miles away...screw you, Oakland Coliseum, YOU SUCK!

Anonymous was surprisingly happy with how late BART was running, despite initial promises they would stop at midnight =

We took BART to the concert. Left at the end of the show at 11:45. Saw the crush of people at the BART bridge overcrossing and again at the pay gates. Took us 35 minutes to get over the bridge and thought "Oh no! No way we'll make the last train at 12:20am." But to our surprise, when we got on the platform at 12:30am, there were extra BART cars lined up going to either Pittsbugh/Baypoint or SF/Daly City. We even saw extra cars lined up in the other direction heading down to Fremont and Dublin/Pleasanton. Someone at BART was smart enough to bag the idea of having it's last train at 12:20. Granted, the bridge is outdated and there has to be a better way to get to the platform, but at least BART is the way to go to get to the next big concert at O.Co That or have 40,000 stranded people rioting. That wouldn't be a pretty sight. From my point of view, kudos to BART.

Anonymous, with good points, esp. the last sentence =

Not everyone can leave work earlier. Not everyone can get to BART; some folks came from very far away and did not know how to find a BART station are simply could not get there once the traffic hell began. I will bet many folks were desperately trying to use iphones to find alternatives but there just was no information. I find it impossible to believe that in the Bay Area no one at the arena thought, gee maybe we should post some information for those poor bastards trapped in traffic with useless, expensive tickets. The real issue is that there was NO TRAFFIC CONTROL whatsoever, and yes, that is absolutely the fault of the venue and the promoters. Just thank god there wasn't a real emergency.

Mary Frances again =

U2 weren't kidding when they sang "Get On Your Boots". You're going to need your boots to make your way through the muddy parking lot, searching for your car after walking the .75 miles from the partial show you just saw at the (dumb name) Coliseum.

Anonymous, toeing the line between sage advice and rubbing it in =

I feel for the fans that got stuck in their cars. It sounds like a nightmare and a perfect storm of gridlocked traffic. They should coordinate with BART to have later trains for events like this. I know everyone is upset but make sure you do your homework beforehand on alternative plans/routes. This stuff happens sometimes and you gotta make your lemonade...

Liz =

This was horrible. Left Emeryville area at 7. Figured that was 2 hours before U2 went on stage. what a joke.. parking lots full, no one directing traffic into the 40.00 overfill lot, no safe place to walk to/from the concert to get to the overfill lots. the 40 minutes i saw of U-2 was amazing, but the rest of the experience sucked. No more Oakland for concerts for me.

Anonymous, definitely toeing that line mentioned above =

sorry guys, I hate to be the devils advocate. I totally feel your pain. However, your should have planned ahead of time. I left work a bit early to catch the show and took BART from the Fremont Station.
At the end of the concert, I left a minute before the concert officially ended to avoid the midnight BART shut down, but BART extended the hours and sent more trains back and forth past midnight. Just plan ahead next time for the Biggest concert in the Bay.

A response =

To everyone who wants to play "devil's advocate" - don't you think things like alternative routes and BART didn't occur to these poor people stuck in traffic? Why rub salt in the wound and chastise them while lording your superior experience over them?

Anonymous, with a link that informs us we're unfortunately not alone in the nation =

I will spare you the details of my story. It has already been recounted by numerous other concert goers. Check out this story from Oct, 2009 of the U2 concert in North Carolina. Same exact situation. Whose job is it to figure out a solution and make sure this does not happen again? Unbelievable!

Joedotbrown =

I'm so sorry for those who couldn't get there in time or didn't get there at all. My grievance has to do with BART announcing that they run the last train at 12:20am. We had to leave the concert at 11:15 to make sure we could get on a train to Fremont (babysitter waiting, and what if we missed the train at 12:30am?). So we missed the last four or five songs - the emotional ending to a well-produced show. I'll be fine, but what a disaster for so many. I also think LK and U2 came on way too late - later than necessary. Sure came across insensitive to us and meant that we couldn't see the whole thing after a year of waiting.

Katie =

Whoever suggested that this was the fault of ticket holders who either didn't leave early enough or who failed to take public transit, you are sorely mistaken. Though this venue hosts sporting events, I'd love to know the last time you bought a "field" ticket for a football game. This is what caused the parking shortage.Stadiums are built to accommodate parking for the number of seats they have and most don't take into account extra parking for U2 concerts where greed dictates the sale of an extra 20 - 30,000 field tickets. I left Palo Alto at 5pm. After sitting outside of the parking lot in front of the coliseum for 2 hours, we headed for the bay bridge and 280 at 9:30 pm without hearing a note of music or any directions from the cops or parking attendants. Bring on the class action lawsuit - when you sell tickets you can't accommodate, that's fraud!

Anonymous =

Expected some regular commute traffic from Santa Clara and left at 5.30, expecting to show up close to chance. I didn't get to the Coliseum exits until around 8.30, and after waiting in completely stopped traffic, I ended up going several exits ahead to wander around the sketchiest parts of Oakland's industrial district for parking, eventually settling for some street parking between massive shipping trucks. I managed to get into the stadium via the BART station bridge just in time to sit down in the middle of "Even Better Than The Real Thing," thankfully. The exit was just as bad on foot, with a massive crowd gathered around the BART bridge. It took another 40 minutes to get through. Thankfully my car was in one piece, but I never want to repeat the experience.

Anonymous =

Re: "However, your should have planned ahead of time." Some might call allowing 3 hours for a trip that normally takes 30 minutes "planning ahead of time".

Re: "Just plan ahead next time for the Biggest concert in the Bay." This sounds like great advice FOR THE ORGANIZERS AND CITY WHO PUT ON THE SHOW. If you were invited to a dinner party, RSVP'd, showed up and then they didn't have any food for you, would you think "gee, guess I should've planned ahead and packed along my own dinner"? I'm very happy for the people who had a good experience with BART but if *everyone* had taken BART that would've been a whole other set of nightmares (train capacity, parking capacity at the stations, etc.) As others have said, this is a venue that regularly puts on high capacity events so they should be prepared for the traffic it generates. They weren't. Blaming the concert goers is really giving the people who failed miserably at their jobs (the concert organizers, the Coliseum personnel and the traffic cops) an entirely unearned free pass.

Anonymous =

What is really frightening is the enormously hazardous conditions propegated by corporate greed and poor planning. It truly is a miracle that no one was seriously injured as motorists left their vehicles, backed up on-ramps, drove on shoulders, etc. To my mind the very real potential for loss of life and/or injury makes this a serious issue for the city of Oakland.

Fkinyua just made my all-time sh-tlist for trolling =

I hate people who blame circumstances instead of taking responsibility for their own screw ups. You knew that this was going to be a packed show.It was only all over the radio stations with 69K tickets sold? Why notleave home earlier that 45 minutes before the show begins? 880 is always a nightmare on regular days? You could have also taken 680 to 580 and taken 98th Avenue to the Coliseum.You my friend, did not plan well and that is your problem. You can blame the city, the gods of parking or whomever else makes you feel wronged but it was ALL you! I left San Jose at 5:30pm parked at Fremont Bart, I was at the Coliseum by 6:45pm enjoying a well deserved cocktail. Had you gone to or just frikin used google maps for traffic or...really just watched traffic news, you would not be here being a cry baby. Take responsibility for messing up your night. It was ALL your poor planning. Maybe this is a good lesson for next time or not... you will find someone or something else to blame.


First response =

wow really do express yourself well. and you so epitomize the spirit of the band. if you did not see what was actually happening, however, your views may be based on assumptions....just saying....

Simon with another response to the troll =

I think its hilarious someone would blame others for "Not planning ahead". Probably the police officer in charge of traffic coordination. lol. In my case, I was at the onramp 2 *hours* before I needed to be at the show. The *onramp*. I should have planned ahead and allowed 5 hours on the onramp?

Oh well, people just like to rant.

I wish I had taken BART, no doubt. We thought about it. But we just thought we would give plenty of extra time to drive. If you saw the situation, even at 9:45 when we gave up, you would see the problem was not "Planning Ahead". It was total gridlock.

A third response to the troll =

fkinyua, funny, I don't like people who are supplicating apologists for the horrible planning of those in charge of an event. I'm sure if there had been a fire at the stadium and a bunch of people had died in a stampede due to a lack of fire exits you would've still found a way to blame the victims. It's people like you who allow those in charge of an event off the hook when they don't support the product they sell.

If you think that allowing 3 hours for a normally 30 minute journey is a "screw up" or "not planning well" I think you might need a course in remedial math.

A more general response =

A lot of people seem to have lost sight of the basic fact here - Ticketmaster, Livenation, the Coliseum, whoever sold more tickets than they could provide services for. Not matter how prepare ticketholders were SOMEONE was going to get screwed whether they left home 4 hours before showtime or 5 minutes. People paid lots of money for these tickets and should have been able to expect to be accomodated. Stop blaming the people who were stuck on the offramp for hours - they left home in plenty of time. The only poor planning here was on the part of the Coliseum and the city of Oakland.

Anonymous =

We had issues as well. (Us, too, bought our tickets in 2009 as a "babymoon" type gift as my first child was due in August. However, back surgeries aren't to blame here.) ...

We left San Jose at 5:15, sat through tons of 880 traffic (to be expected since 880 sucks a$$) and got off 1 exit early at 96th since my husband was trying to find a way around. We saw all the expensive tiny dirt lots in our twist around the venue, but drove to the official coliseum parking on the other side only to be turned away due to all lots being full. We went back around, and parked in a $40 dirt lot underneath an overpass where transients occupied. Once we finally got to the entrance (as Kravitz was playing), we made our way to the folks scanning tickets only to find that 1 of 4 scanners were working. Unfortunately, we were finding this out as they were, so the only direction was, "My scanner isn't working, go to that guy." Grrr ... Complete mahem and lack of preparedness.

We decided to stay for the entire concert, and was pleased with their performance. It's not U2's fault. It's really too bad that the city did not plan, prepare, act, for all of the people coming to this venue. I, too, will never see anything here again. 880? Oakland? The Coliseum? No thanks

Gregory, who is feeling self-hate (misguided, brother, but at least you're not trolling) =

as much as i hate to admit it, there's really no one to blame for missing the concert but ourselves. i should have heeded my hunch to take a half-day off and head out much earlier but i didn't. it's a sold-out concert plus the 360 stage layout allowed for a few thousand more seats than your regular concert...gates opening 645am??? what can one realistically expect of the traffic and parking spaces? for me, i wanted my wife to come along too so i accomodated her schedule and suggestion of skipping the 'insignificant opening act'... i think i have learnt my lesson well this time... i am going solo next time on my own schedule!

Maktremor, a Raiders fan who was finally blessed for his years of fanhood ;-) (go Niners) =

Hey Dustin, This comment doesn't do you or anybody else any good, but I was in the same boat as everybody else yesterday around 7:10pm. I had just passed the San Mateo bridge on 880N and traffic was at a crawl. My wife turned to me and said, "Should we continue on the freeway?" I was amazed at the traffic on the freeway. I mean, I've been to the coliseum when the Raiders have played and there's been a concert going on next door.

This is were my experience as a Raider fan helped for once. I got off on the 1st exit and took the backstreets (Washington Blvd) into the coliseum. I parked on the outside and paid $20. I got in just in time to see Lenny Kravitz play.

Anonymous, with an unlikely but apparently true rebuttal to our stories =

We left East San Jose at 5:30, took the 66th ave exit and were parked by 6:35. Inside buying beer & garlic fries when Moonalice started their set at 7:00

Apparently you got one of the last spots, since they were all full just ten minutes later. C'est la vie for us.

Anonymous =

I disagree with people saying it isn't anyone's fault but their for arriving late. IT TOTALLY WAS LACK OF RESPECT AND PLANNING FROM OAKLAND OVERSTOCK STADIUM.

We left San Jose at 5:00. That is very reasonable to leave to drive to Oakland. But the traffic was so packed and slow we wondered if there was a big wreck. Amazed how the traffic was totally because of the concert and the the back up getting off the exits and then the crawl into the streets leading to parking lots.

We got there after crawling at almost a stand still - for miles and miles and we saw no police directing the congestion. We saw no Oakland stadium employees helping people know where to go. It felt like a free for all with merging and trying to get to the lots.

When we finally got to the lot, they told us it was sold out and should try parking on the streets around the stadium. We could hear U2 starting the show at this point. We drove all around the very shabby and dangerous looking areas around the stadium trying to find a spot.

Eventually after multiple drives around, we found a spot in front of a residential home a couple blocks away. A man came out from the home to warn us how "we better watch our backs" around this neighborhood. And how cars are broken into all the time here. We finally made it to the show half-way through.

Missed half of U2... not because we didn't leave at a reasonable time. But because there was inadequatetraffic police, they should have fore-thought parking for a sold out show or arranged for the many U2 busses and vehicles which took many spots to park at another location. I don't know. But not only was the lack of signage, people directing traffic etc. bad - but it felt like the police were not caring. They looked bored and not helpful that we did see near the actual parking lot itself that was sold out.

The upon leaving we had to walk the BART bridge over to get the neighborhood which we parked. There had to be 2,000 people jammed and packed trying to get into the small walkway bridge that went to BART. It was so packed and it could have easily gone into a very dangerous situation if there was any sense of panic or if someone needed to get out of that crowd. It was another 45 minutes just waiting in a packed crowd to get into the BART bridge walkway. AND NOT A SINGLE POLICEMAN OR SINGLE OAKLAND OVERSTOCK STADIUM EMPLOYEE TO HELP GUIDE TRAFFIC. It was another free for all and thank God people were respectful. What if it was not a U2 show and the crowd more angst filled or not mature? People could have been seriously injured if anything got out of hand in that massive packed crowd jammed together.

I wish I could could get half my ticket price back for missing half the show. It was the most ridiculous and uncool thing with concert planning I have ever seen or experienced. AND THEY HAD WARNING! The knew how many tickets were sold. Why didn't they plan ahead for extra traffic, extra parking needed, extra people taking BART etc..... it felt like they planned for a 1/3 attended A's game rather than a sold out U2 concert. Shame on those who were responsible for mishandling this whole thing and making for many, what was supposed to be a great night - a night of frustration, missing half a show or more, and even could have been dangerous.

Anonymous =

SIGNS, SIGNS, SIGNS... They needed signs directing people to available parking lots, which lots were handicapped only, where the overflow lot(s) were, etc. For those of us not from the Bay area, and there were many of us, comments like "just take BART, just take these other 6 freeways" are not helpful. Plenty of advanced planning was done, including lining up an alternate route or two just in case, and we still barely made it. Our friends met us 30 minutes into the concert. When we got into the stadium, the crush of people in the hallways was insane - no directions inside either from the workers. Poor planning from the coliseum and made a much-anticipated night incredibly stressful.

Anonymous, with a very unfortunate note that U2's web team has removed comments like ours from the site. Everything has to be puppies and rainbows on their official site, I guess, or it's just bad for business =

Same story here as the rest of you. Headed home after three and a half hours, that was at 10:20. We did't see any information on what was happening. We saw no Police, No Security Guards or Parking attendants. Nada, nothing. I have been searching the web all afternoon. I went to the band's official and there were comments posted on there similar to ours and now it appears they have been removed.

Anonymous =

We left San Mateo at 6:45 and made it off the Hegenberger exit at 10:15, only to turn around as the limo driver next to us said she was on her way to line up for the pick-ups! we decided after 3+ hours in the car we might as well get home without having to deal with the traffic leaving the coliseum too. It was a truly disappointing night. I'd be willing to sign a class action suit too!

Anonymous, jealous of the Polish =

It's been about 24 hours since we fought our way into the U2 show last night. Still pissed. I've got to say that I'm COMPLETELY JEALOUS OF THE GUY FROM POLAND WHO JUST HAD TO FLY 20 HOURS FROM POLAND TO SEE THE SHOW. Easy peasy, lemon squeazy Vorchak.

Bummed has an excellent point about one of my least favorite venues, the Shoreline =

I totally agree that they needed SIGNS and ATTENDANTS working the traffic off Hegenberger exit. We inched along the exit and around the ensuing parking mess for over an hour without any guidance from the venue. We missed half the concert just idling near the filled up parking lots (KFOG at one point said U2hadn't started yet while we were in the jammed up exit). At one point, there weren't even any clear lanes anymore -- there were about 4 rows of cars trying to squeeze into narrow lines to maneuver around the limos that were randomly parked in the middle of the road. Nobody knew where the hell they were going and there were no parking attendants or signs to help out. While we can't blame the organizers for the freeway traffic, we can blame them for not providing signage and people to guide the traffic off the exit and around the parking lots. I'm used to Shoreline where, even if you have to park far out, at least it's organized with well labeled signs to follow and you know you're going to get a spot *somewhere* so that you can actually see the concert you paid for. Shoreline has many parking attendants there pointing you to the exact space you pull into and it feels safe. Oakland needs to get its act together. For the amount they charged for tickets, fees, and parking, they should be able to afford a better effort to organize the parking situation. Or maybe they should print a warning on the tickets they sell, "You may not actually get to see this event because we don't have enough room for everyone. Good luck." Pathetic.

Anonymous wants Ron Little, general manager for SMG, to be fired =

Ron Little, general manager for SMG, the venue management company that runs the coliseum should be FIRED. Check out his completely useless comments here:

Way to find solutions, Ron. Bravo.

Wendi =

I am honestly shocked no one got hurt during this debacle. People were so flustered, so tired, so frustrated, that is is amazing there was not road rage, any pedestrians hit, etc. etc. This could have ended disasterously in so many bigger ways then how I was impacted by missing half of U2. There is NO reason that this should have occurred. If there had been traffic directors, signs, information on the arena phone line or website...well then I would say we were all to blame. But half the traffic problems were due to attendents waving people into lots, changing their mind halfway, making them backout, etc. Deplorable. Thankfully no one was physically injured, but next time Oakland Coliseum, you may not be so lucky. Rather than have a massive lawsuit when someone gets hurt maybe it is time you figure out how to plan overflow parking and how to split up traffic to various lots. It isn't that hard, folks. And since it didn't take me four hours to get home, yet everyone was leaving at the same time, I would say 90% of the problem was not the mass traffic on 880 but what happened once you got off of 880. Shame on the organizers and managers of this event.

Anonymous =

Disgusted with the system, how can you allow so many tickets to be sold when you don't have enough parking available, we left San Jose at 5.20 and at 10.15 finally reached the overflow car park and decided to give up because we thought it was disgraceful that they wanted to charge $40 for a non secure spot at that time of night and we still had a way to walk to the stadium. I have never seen so many frustrated people in one place!

Eddie Appell has a link to his story = My nightmare concert experience

Jen, rubbing salt in our wounds (and we did plan ahead, Jen) =

I'm sorry so many people had problems getting to the show. I was also stuck in traffic for over two hours, but I left early enough that I made it in time to see all 3 of the acts. Anyone who lives in the Bay Area should know that traffic is bad, especially during rush hour, and it's even worse when there's a big show like that. I agree that the city and the promoters should have done a lot more to handle the incredible influx of traffic, but lots and lots of people planned ahead and allowed themselves enough time to get there. People need to take some of the responsibility themselves...

A response to Jen =

Jen, you're not reading the comments very carefully. People DID plan ahead. You were in traffic for 2 hours. That's as expected; and that's what most people anticipated. Since you got there for the first act, you were able to take one of the early parking spaces and didn't run into the congestion resulting from the venue running out of spaces and poorly managing the traffic in the streets surrounding the coliseum. People who were planning to be there after the opening act, but before u2 came on, were in traffic for 4 and 5 hours because the situation directly around the coliseum streets and parking became more and more congested and chaotic over the course of the evening. The problem was there was no system in place to accommodate the cars and there was NO ONE IN CHARGE. People weren't waiting two hours on the highway. They were waiting two hours on the OFF RAMP and in the streets around the coliseum. As Wendi said, "90% of the problem was not the mass traffic on 880 but what happened once you got off of 880."

All the people who are gloating about taking Bart or getting there before the first act -- you would have been screwed if everyone had planned on getting there for the first act and everyone took Bart. There simply wasn't an adequate system in place to get people to where they needed to go to park.

Anonymous, whose luck in making it inside actually adds insight into the madness of the whole situation =

Some things are starting to become clear to me. Folks who had to drive in from far away, no matter how early they might have left, got screwed. People who left my area (Santa Cruz) BEFORE I did had to turn around without ever getting into the concert. I got in, after U2 had been playing for 30 minutes only because of sheer luck. My car happened to be in the right place when someone finally thought that it would be a good idea to open up the empty VIP parking to the poor bastards stuck in traffic. The randomness of the whole nightmare is what is pissing me off at this point. I am glad I got in, but I feel terrible that folks who were there before me did not get in or if they did had to pay $40 for a dirt lot and a dangerous hike.

Oh, and on planning ahead. Not everyone can take the day off work and rent a hotel room or take a limo or get to a BART station.

I hate to end on a sour note, but here's the last comment, from a serious a--hole =

call 511 and ask for directions next time, for you dummies who were stuck in traffic. That's ALWAYS plan B. You tell the person who answers the phone and they'll direct you to the nearest public transportation venue. For those of you who missed the concert, too bad. No refunds should be given. You're wasting your time.

I was one of many who called 511; IT'S AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM, JERK. I've never spoken to a live person on that system. Get bent.

As for the possibility of refunds, I'm not holding my breath, but Patrick Missud is working his tail off representing our case. He's been on KTVU as well as KFOG getting the word out for a class action lawsuit, although he's hoping a settlement can be made before he takes that route.

Thanks to everyone who posted here at Blah Blah Blog, even you callous a--holes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

U2 traffic nightmare = the masses speak, PART ONE

UPDATE = The traffic tale was on Channel 2 (KTVU) at 5, and will be on AGAIN at 7. Pat Missud is taking up our case with Sal Castaneda, so a HUGE shout out to my new favorite attorney.

Apologies to everyone, I was at Great America all day and just got back to an inbox with about 60+ comments. I'm posting the first batch here. If you didn't see my earlier post, read that before sifting through these comments. Thank you to all who took the time to comment, and let's hope we get some closure from this madness.

Anonymous =

3 hours in traffic, turned back at 9:40 when they took the stage. Spend 1 hour in less than half a mile in 880. Never made it even to the exit, which looking back probably was the smartest thing we did, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to get out, for another two hours, like happened to friends of mine. I will sign any law suit petition against the Oakland coliseum. I am never going back and I will make sure I turn myself into a marketing campaign against them.

Another Anonymous =

Same experience. Four and a half hours from San Jose, only to turn around and go home. I have contacted the lawyer cited at the beginning of this blog. Hope all will do the same.

Steve B =

Massive, massive fail on the part of the concert organizers and the city of Oakland last night. We left San Francisco at 7 PM and, after crossing the Bay Bridge, sat in traffic for the next THREE+ HOURS, finally arriving in the overflow parking lot (I use the work 'lot' generously) at 10:20 PM. We paid $40 for the privilege of parking in what surely must've been a former WWI battlefield with all the ruts, trenches and mud. I'm sure many cars were stuck and/or their underbellies ruined as a result of navigating this terrain. After calculating that the band had been playing for almost an hour at that point and it would take us a half hour to walk to the stadium, we figured that we could maybe catch a half hour of the concert...and then be stuck in who knows what mess trying to get out of there. Knowing it would be pretty uncool to roll in and relieve the babysitter at 4 in the morning we turned around and headed home. It took us 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. Tickets+hotel+babysitter+parking=incredibly frustrating waste of time and money. This was absolutely shameful planning on the part of the organizers. The thousands of people who got screwed like we did should at the very least get their ticket money back.

Eric =

We also decided at 8:45 after being in traffic for 4 hours and looking upon the sea of red in the over flow parking area that we wouldn't be able to catch the show. It is by far the worst organized event I have ever been to. I don't ever intend on going back to the Coliseum.

Anonymous, with the worst story I've heard thus far =

All sad stories but not as sad as mine. Only had $32 so they turned me away from $40 overflow parking (I dropped the family off on the exit ramp so they could walk - wife had the money, as usual). Missed first 5 songs. Return to a smashed windshield. Perhaps Bono and his 'love everyone' attitude will reimburse me? Love you Oakland.

Anonymous BART rider, who made it in =

We went to dinner at Zachary's Pizza on College before the show at around 5:30. Call it luck or some random premonition, but I ad this kooky idea to leave our vehicles parked on College and BART from Rockbridge to the show. Glad we did!! After hearing about the 40 dollar parking and the 3 hour plus waits on the freeway, I am glad we decided on mass transportation. The only hiccup was this, after the show which ended around midnight (U2 didn't come on til 9:30, which I am now guessing is because so many fans were running late), the BART crowd was unreal!! The crowd backed up way beyond the bridge and into the stadium. My friends and I were lucky enough to had made it on the train, but I wonder how many were not so lucky?

Neldridge =

I've been going to shows in Oakland for many years and have never experienced anything so horrific as last night. It took us almost 4 hrs. from San Jose.
My husband isn't a big concert person but I was able to pursuade him for this U2 show (we bought the tix about 18 months ago)but after our experience last night he'll never go again. We got ripped off by the City of Oakland big time. I realy loved seeing the cops that were gettting paid for supposedly being on duty at the intersections just standing around and chatting it up instead of directing traffic? Worst night ever. Does anyone know who we contact with a grievance or better yet to try and get reimbursed?

Working on that. Another Anon. =

Waited 2 years for this concert and had exactly similar situation. Never made it inside. It was so sad. I can't belive this night went the way it did.

Another Anon., with a request that I'd like to second =

If anyone is able to get a refund, let us know.

Yet another Anon. =


Another Anon. =

Start your lawsuit with Live Nation - the promoter. They were irresponsible.

Not sure yet if it's more with them than it is with the Oakland Coliseum. To be continued.

Wendi =

Wow, we hear you all...this was the worst traffic management I have EVER seen at any event. I cannot figure it out how they managed to screw up so many people's nights. We left Santa Clara at 6:15 and we walked in the Arena's doors after 10:00. And we were LUCKY because there were a ton of people behind us, and we just moved cones and parked eventually in a space they were blocking off because of a bit of a ditch in the space (the SUV was just fine though in this space). We had to walk probably 1 mile to get to the arena...and again, we were lucky we made it at all. A bunch of the seats were empty even when we got there at 10:00. There is no reason that this should have occurred. We recognize we were leaving peak time (sorry Oakland, I have to work and get a babysitter and put dinner on the table for my kids before I could leave, so NO I could not leave earlier) and expected some delays as a result of leaving at a peak time. But FOUR hours? What a joke. We should be compensated.

Anonymous, with an irritating tale =

Just an update, I called the Coliseum box office and they were extremely unhelpful and a bit rude. Basically they said that since I was in traffic at 7:45 for a 7:00 show, it was my fault for not planning accordingly. I called Ticketmaster earlier and they told me to call the Coliseum box office. I'm beyond frustrated now.

John =

I had a similar experience to everything stated here. We left the Penninsula at 5:30, and were trying to exit on Hegenberger Rd at 6:30. 3 hours later we were still in our car and gave up. The Coliseum is a joke. Never again.

JesseLovesCows (great name, by the way) =

We left the Los Gatos area at 6, expecting to arrive at the Coliseum around 7:30 with traffic allowance. We felt a little foolish when we approached the Hegenberger exit after 8:00 and saw how congested bothColiseum exits were, presumably with fellow concert goers. After TWO HOURS of sitting in the exit lane, it was obvious that the lots were full but nothing was being done by the Coliseum to redirect traffic or even just prevent the hundred and hundreds of cars waiting in both directions to arrive at the same FULL lots! We got out of the 66th Street Exit lane when we could indeed see all the closed lot gates, took the next exit, found street parking, and walked to the show. It ended up taking us FOUR & A HALF HOURS to get to our seats at a venue just 45 miles from our home. We missed the opening act & nearly an hour ofU2, and ended up leaving at 11:00 for fear it would take us just as long to get OUT of the hellhole that is the " Coliseum." Doesn't matter who's playing there; we will NEVER patronize this venue again!

Sherry =

I am glad there is an outlet to VENT. Our car of three fans, driving from San Jose also shared the horrific experience of inept planning!! 4 1/2 hours. Driving to Tahoe would have been faster. The promoters, ( who should have this down to a science) the City, the Coliseum, they all should be called to task over the lack of any foresight when it came to handling a large, and I might add, EXPECTED, crowd. I would also like to mention how pathetic the police, and highway patrol appeared...their plan, was obviously 'no plan' a pathetic handling of the situation. Good Bye, Oakland, NEVER AGAIN!!!!

ij, who spent a ton of money =

yup, insane. took 4 hours from sunnyvale. we paid $825 for 3 tickets and $40 for overflow parking lot. nightmare. 2 of us saw maybe an hour and a half of the show, the other only saw an hour when he arrived at 10:45pm. Sucks. No one directing traffic or anything. Still like U2 though. Venue and lack of organization, yeah not so much.

John =

I bought the tickets when I was still living in SF. I have since moved to LA, but kept the tickets after the rescheduling drove up. The drive is about 5 hours. I got a hotel the night before and after in Redwood Citythe, a short drive across the San Mateo Bridge. My girlfriend and I left the hotel at 5:30 with sushi and drinks with the plan to do some light tailgating before catching some of Lenny's set.

4 hours later, with still no sign of an open parking lot, the sushi long gone, the echoes of the concert taunting us having already started...we flipped a u-turn and the bird to the new Coliseum. We pulled out of the cluster at 10pm after sitting in traffic for over 4 hours. It took 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. No joke. 25 minutes.

I had been looking forward to that concert for 2 years, and was robbed of the experience because the Oakland venue does not know how to handle an attendance of that size. I am beyond frustrated. What happened is flat out wrong. They knew how many people were coming, and their contingency plan for overflow parking is to redirect all traffic from the 880 exits and surrounding streets to the same mud hole lot down one road? What numb skull brainstormed that bottleneck.

We went back to the hotel and drank the two beers we had purchased. $250 for each Bud Light tall boy.

For how long I sat in traffic, I could have driven all the way back to LA.

It is flat out wrong.

Erin, with a heartbreaking story =

Sums it up. I've had these tickets since 2009 and have wanted to see U2 play since I was 4 years old. Instead I spent 4 hours in traffic and going from lot to lot and street to street only to be told it was full. I left with my boyfriend with tears streaming down my face. This was the worst, most heartbreaking experience i've ever had with something I was looking forward to for so long. Sorry we all had to suffer this, but i'm glad I'm not alone. I hope we can at least get our money back...

Meredith =

I know it is only more of the same but I NEED to vent. My excited group of 4 left Santa Cruz at 4:40 p.m. thrilled that the day had finally arrived (tickets were purchased in October of 2009). We made it intoOakland by 6:00 p.m. but then we hit the 66th Street exit. Fast forward to 9:38 p.m. when I begged my fiancĂ©e to duck out of the traffic line waiting to exit at Hegenberger due to what was quickly becoming a potty emergency (no shoulder to even cop a squat on!). We shot up to the High Street exit, observing the standstills at all Coliseum exits. After being turned away at three different gas stations we finally found a truck stop with facilities close enough to hear Bono crooning in the night air. We found a “back way” into the traffic line up but as we inched ahead we were told by multiple pedestrians (some in parking vests) that all the lots were full and we needed to turn around. Determined to stay the course as we listed to “All I want is you”, we were finally ushered into the Coliseum lot (NOT overflow) and asked to hand over the $40. When asked where we could lodge a complaint we were directed to a “guy in a chair”. We ran into the Coliseum as “Beautiful Day” was hitting its stride and had to eject the folks that had moved into our nice 7th row seats. I am grateful we got to see the hour or so we did but utterly heartbroken and more than a little pissed off. How could this have happened? I saw Sting and the Police here a few years back and it wasn’t nearly the disaster this was. What is a fan to do? We could have driven all the way to Anaheim to see them in the time it took to sit through this.

Anonymous =

Left Redwood City at 6pm. Got to the 66th St exit lane around 9pm. Was in the exit lane for another 45 minutes. When I got to what looked like a parking lot entrance, I saw the sign that said "sorry lot is full". By this time it was 10pm and I was a mile or more away from the stadium still unable to find a place to park. People were abandoning cars and walking along the freeway. No traffic directors, no signs, no help for the thousands of vehicles left standed. Worst of all time. Turned around and got back to Mt View in 30 minutes.

Jane =

While I would never, ever wish my experiences last night on any decent human being, I'm happy that I'm not the only one to be completely blown away by the grievous unpreparedness and disorganization of last night's concert.

Simon =

Thank You for posting this! Good to know those other people out on the clusterfuck onramps from hell also were angry about this.

My wife and I left Santa Cruz at 5:45pm. With 880 packed all the way to Oakland, we got to the onramp to Oracle Arena at ~8:15. Lenny Kravitz hadn't started yet so we were hopeful to catch U2... 1.5 hours later, we had moved ~500ft and still could not see the actual entrance to the onramp. Having worked all day, knowing all the parking lots would be full, and fearing we would arrive only to see 10 minutes of U2 and then have to navigate back out through the gridlock, we left. To spite Oakland, we took the bay bridge home and had one moment of sanity as we crossed the bridge and made our sorry, sad way home. After two years waiting with the tickets, and our previous life spans waiting to see U2 perform live...this was up there with the worst few hours of our lives. We would never drive there again, but most likely we will just never go there again.

Anonymous, rubbing it in ;-) =

Empathy & compassion for all of you - this experience really sucks. Hope civil action goes somewhere but at least you have a place to vent. I had a stroke of insight midday and checked $40 parking prices & BART and really glad now I went with my gut. Left my home in SJ at 6:30, got to Fremont BART at 7:15, to Colisum stop by 7:45, to seats by 8:00, back on BART at 11:15 with no lines, and home by 12:00 - all after an 18 month wait. It was a great concert!

Jerk! J/k. Different Anon. =

Ditto. Left Palo Alto at 6:00 straight up, got to our seats at 9:30. Will never go to O.Co again.