Opening night kinks at West Side stadium
by Andrew Shilling
Sep 04, 2013 | 859 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(Photo: Michael Perlman)
(Photo: Michael Perlman)
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While the epic Mumford and Sons concert raged on in the legendary West Side Tennis Club stadium last Wednesday night, dozens of ticket-holding concertgoers were turned away for seating issues.

According to the club, promoters overlooked a key element of the layout of the newly reopened 17,000-seat Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, once home to the U.S. Open and host to concerts by legends like The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

When fans left for a bathroom break, some were turned away when they tried to reenter the general admission section.

According to WSTC president Roland Meier, unmarked seating was ultimately at fault for the shortage space.

“I don’t believe that this was oversold, but the fact is going forward this cannot happen again,” Meier said.

Front Gate Ticket, the show’s ticketing company, has responded to the error by saying they would refund any ticket holder that was turned away, according to reports.

Club members also posted on neighborhood blogs that there were some issues with WSTC members gaining access to the clubhouse during the show.

Meier said they allowed Mumford and Sons to use the club prior to the show to play a couple of games of tennis and swim in the pool. Meanwhile, the 800 club members who purchased specially designated tickets were upset when they found they were shut out of their facility.

Meier said the facility couldn’t hold all 800 members at once, even if the club wasn't being used by the band.

“If we’re talking about all these kinks and these irregularities, I look forward to working toward the next event,” Meier said. “You should make mistakes, because no one is perfect. You’re really stupid if you make the same mistake twice and we’re not going to do that.”

Club member Christine Schott said that while there were some issues at the highly anticipated return of concerts at the tennis stadium, she was pleased with the way the neighborhood handled everything.

“I’m just so happy because it shows all the naysayers who told us the parking would be such an issue,” Schott said. “It shows that 17,000 people came safety into the neighborhood and parking was not an issue.”

By the end of the night, after the crowd began clearing from the stadium, Dan Olson, a nearby resident, said he ventured to the Gardens from Austin Street to check out the scene.

“I was really impressed with the control and the access to the stadium,” Olson recalled. “As far as I could tell, everybody was herded around in a way that had minimal impact on the Forest Hills Gardens community.”

Meier said the stadium will be ready for more shows next summer. In an effort to reach out to the surrounding Forest Hills Gardens community, Meier added that he worked out a deal with the promoters.

“If you live around here, your chances of getting tickets will be quite high,” Meier said.

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Chris Manly
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September 06, 2013
For goodness sake we're talking about 3 concerts a year! Do we ever bother to worry about the people who live in Corona or the Bronx when there are baseball games? No. Now why would that be? Look, I'm pretty sure that stadium has been around longer than every resident of the Gardens, this comes with the territory when you buy a house next to a 17000 seat stadium.