I’ve been wanting to discuss this topic for quite some time now, but have never found the right time to voice my opinion on the matter.
Now seems like as good a time as any.
For the last 7 years, I have worked as a member of the Toronto Raptors Game Operations Department. During the course of a regular season, I would work approximately 80-85% of the team’s home games. I’ve seen almost every promotion, contest, live event, halftime show and giveaway organized by the department
One of the more popular promotions is sponsored by Pizza Pizza and is made available to the fans who come to watch Raptors games live.
If the Toronto Raptors can score 100 or more points during the course of a game, then everyone in attendance can redeem their ticket stub the following day at any Pizza Pizza location in the GTA and receive a free slice.
It’s a great promotion in theory, but it’s horribly flawed as well.
During this past Mondays game against the Orlando Magic (in a BLOWOUT loss), Raptors forward Ed Davis hit a jumper late in the fourth quarter that gave the team its 100th point.
The crowd reacted as if the Raptors had just clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was shocked by the crowd’s response.
“I mean, everybody’s on their feet, standing ovation and the whole thing and then a guy in the crowd next to me sitting baseline said everybody gets a free pizza, so I guess that was exciting. That was the loudest the crowd was all night. They were into that. That was a big basket by Ed Davis. They’re going to put that on the highlight film at the end of the year. I was like, ‘Wow, what happened, I thought they had like an 18-point play and tied the game or something.”
That was absolutely embarrassing.
I believe the Toronto Raptors have some of the best fans in basketball, but they should be ashamed of themselves for how they reacted to such a nonsensical, horribly organized promotion.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve been a part of many games in which the team has been blown out for 45-46 minutes only to reach the 100 point mark late in the game and earn the fans a free slice of pizza. The crowd would chant “Pizza” at the top of their lungs as if they hadn’t eaten for weeks.
I’ve even heard the fans BOO during WINS if the Raptors ended the game with 98-99 points.
It’s stupid! The entire promotion needs to be changed so that the fans earn pizza ONLY if the team wins the game so we don’t have repeat performances from Monday night.
Fans who go to Raptors games and buy expensive tickets are clearly not lacking in the money department. So what if you have to pay the $5 to go buy a slice on your own dime?
I get that the Raptors are in complete disarray and wins are coming few and far between, but when more fans cheer for a slice of pizza than the performance of the team, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.
Change the promotion so I never have to hear about this again.
What you think about the matter? Should the promotion be changed? Should it be canned completely? What do you think of the fans reaction to winning the pizza? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports