From this moment forward, someone else will be standing under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh. That person is a thief. He or she stole my beautiful, flowered, Target umbrella from under a pile of branches outside Soldier Field on Saturday night.
Why was my umbrella hiding under a pile of branches outside Soldier Field, you ask?
Because Soldier Field believes its patrons are not capable of handling the great responsibility that comes with having umbrellas in our possession while in the stadium.
When I showed up for the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday, just after, you know, THE MASSIVE DOWNPOUR and thunderstorm that briefly shutdown Pitchfork, I showed the bag checker my bag and he told me I couldn't bring in my two, tiny umbrellas.
My choices were to throw them out or hide them somewhere.
I opted to roll the dice and hide them under a few handy branches (that probably fell off during the massive storm that just cut though the area, the reason I needed the umbrellas in the first place) just outside Gate 0.
I'm not sure why we can't be trusted with umbrellas inside the stadium. I've brought umbrellas to both the United Center and Wrigley Field and there was no issue.
Did Taylor Swift have a thingy in her contract that said "No umbrellas." Is it because she was worried we'd put them up and block other patrons' views? Or is it a jealousy thing with Rihanna?
Is this a stadium policy that keeps the guards from having to ask people to close their umbrellas during games/concerts? Is it a time saver?
Do they think umbrellas are dangerous weapons? Do they believe we'll collectively rise up, armed with our umbrellas, to rail against the stadium brass and demand free beer and pretzels?
Do they confiscate them and then sell them back to us with a high markup when it's raining on our way out?
When you're a large venue in a big city where people do a lot of walking, umbrellas are a fact of life. They are everywhere. People walk to Soldier Field. I walked there last night. If the weather's bad or has the potential to get bad, it's not a stretch to assume umbrellas might come through the doors.
How hard would it be to say, "We trust and value you, customers who spent a month's rent on these concert tickets. We'll let you bring in your umbrellas, if you promise not to pull them out of your bag during the show. If you do, we're sorry, but we will have to then confiscate your umbrella and/or ask you to leave. If you don't behave like an asshole, we won't behave like an asshole. Let's all agree to be not assholes."
This story isn't all sad, though. I may have lost the pretty flowered umbrella, but the boring black one was still there at the end of the concert! Maybe the lesson here isn't "don't bring umbrellas to Soldier Field." Maybe the lesson is "only bring your most basic, dull umbrellas to Soldier Field; so that when you're forced to bury it under a pile of empty beer cans outside the building, no one will want to take it."
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