Concerts and Sporting Events – The Classic Struggle

Concert Venues Testing Your Patience

If hitting a 100 mph fastball is one of the toughest things to do in sports, then picking someone up after a concert or sporting event is one of the toughest things to do in ground transportation.  It is a true test of the patience and will of a driver to fight crowds, traffic, and security harassment just to get close enough to “see” a venue…much less meet one of the thousands of attendees flooding into streets and parking areas around the park.  And yet this seemingly impossible task is performed with startling regularity by Chicago limo services after Cubs, Sox, Bears, and Bulls games year round.  In fairness, police and traffic control “elements” work hard to put staging areas in convenient locations, and often are more helpful than one might expect, but try to imagine what it would be like to catch one bee out of an entire colony of thousands, and that is what finding a client CAN be like outside Wrigley Field, The United Center, or the Allstate Arena.

Making it Easy on Everyone

There are a few ways to make it easy on everyone involved, but the easiest is the most obvious and typically the most expensive…park and wait.  If the client is willing to pay the extra fees for keeping the car and whatever the cost of parking, this is the “slam dunk” of options.  Once parked, the vehicle doesn’t move until the event is finished and the client is safely within the vehicle confines.  Sure, there may be insanely long waits in the vehicle to clear the parking area, but who cares?  Someone else is driving.  Slightly less error proof – but a solid plan “B” – is the “prearranged rendezvous point”.  This is when the client and driver conspire to meet at a specific location after the event.  While this would seem to make sense, you can imagine how difficult it can be (after a few cocktails or whatever) for a client to remember the scheme after the event is over.  Limousine services typically try to stake a claim in and around venues so that their clients become familiar with the normal procedure, but normal is not the rule of the day when gypsy operators are lurking in the weeds waiting to steal unsuspecting clients.

Making it Make Sense

In the end, it still makes sense to use a service rather than drive.  There is no reason to risk a ticket, and accident, or worse.  Just don’t opt for the least expensive option – trying to catch your ride “on the fly”.  This creates exposure that you just don’t want.  For instance, while leaving a show at The Chicago Theater recently, I was approached by a self-proclaimed Uber driver, who saw me standing on the curb waiting for my ride. He was dressed in jeans and a dress shirt, and almost ran me over in his haste to “hustle” me.  He just kept asking – “where are you going?”, and I repeatedly told him my ride was around the corner.  I have no idea who this guy was, or how bad I would have been ripped off, but it doesn’t matter.  I took the time to plan out the event to and from the theater, and made arrangements for my ride.  I have enough sense not to get into a vehicle that’s cruising up and down the streets of Chicago looking to turn a quick buck.  That’s why Chicago has taxis, and they are usually painted bright yellow so you can tell them from limo services.

 

 

 

 

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.