Why I Hate the Qwest

April 30, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Missus and I went to Qwest Center Omaha on Saturday night, where we saw Billy Joel in concert. I don’t get to concerts very often so I can’t say how Billy Joel compared to other live artists, but I had a good time. I would have had a better time, though, if the concert were not held at Qwest. I really don’t care for that place. Why? A few of the reasons:

  • It starts with little things, like the parking situation. We sat in traffic for ages waiting to park, but in all that time, there were no signs telling us how much parking would cost. It was a surprise until the parking attendant asked for our cash. That, of course, slows things down as most drivers like to wait until then to fetch the money. Multiply that by a few thousand cars, and you really get a mess.
  • More little things when you get inside, like at the security checkpoint. There are zero signs telling you what’s allowed and what isn’t. Nor is there any way for people to know how they can help speed up the process.
  • The Qwest is little more than a glorified parking garage. Although the exterior is snazzy, the interior reminds me of Que Place. Bleh.
  • Whoever designed the concourses has no idea how people move or how lines form. Seriously, who puts concession stands at narrow points in the concourse with no way for people to easily move around the building lines?
  • Whoever runs the concession stands has no idea how to plan for a crowd. On each of the few occasions I have been to the Qwest, I have witnessed food shortages or near-shortages before the event even started.
  • This is obvious, but the seating sucks rocks. I’m not especially tall and I’m definitely not fat, but I find it impossible to approach even basic comfort at the Qwest.
  • There was a *@#!$^@ speaker blocking the video screen! Who puts a damn speaker right in front of a video screen?!

I could go on, but that would just put me in a bad mood. To whoever ends up designing Lincoln’s arena: please consult actual humans when designing the facility. Our arena will have enough hurdles to jump as it is; it doesn’t need “crappy atmosphere” topping the list.

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The Comments

foxspit April 30, 2007 at 2:12pm

A friend had a similar complaint about the speaker blocking the screen.  I would place the blame for that on the Billy Joel road crew.

I haven’t had a problem with the seating there, but I expect a fairly utilitarian approach to an arena of that size.  The first time I was in there, I was surprised at how basic an approach they took, compared to the exterior.  It serves its purpose though.

The most surprising thing I found with the concessions was how soon they closed up shop.  Pretty much just minutes after the show starts.  Good point about the layout though, the lines interfere with the traffic flow.

Moses April 30, 2007 at 2:19pm

I am tall and fat and we went to see Bob Seeger a few weeks ago.  The seating was miserable.  If I had not had an aisle seat it would have been even worse.
For the Bob Seeger show there weren’t even any video screens to be blocked by speakers.
That was our first and last trip to Qwest.  By the way, the bic lighter thing went away in the rest of the universe a long time ago.

D.M.B. April 30, 2007 at 2:39pm

I have been to the qwest 2 times, both for concerts, and have not had any problems.  I agree about the not showing how much parking is, but everybody knows that parking is going to cost money.  So have a $10 ready and you’ll be well on your way.

The two times that I have been there, I have had no trouble with traffic.  Both times I have been out with relative ease.  I have went to many a concert, and I can honestly say that I don’t look back on all of them and say that the Qwest was one of the better venues.

When I went to my concerts, I didn’t get anything from the concession stand so I didn’t have to deal with those, nor did I stay in the concourse long.  And I didn’t really concern myself with my surroundings…I went to watch the concert.  Like FoxSpit said, you can probably blame the road crew for the speaker in front of the video screen.

I am sorry that you had a bad experience, but that arena has become a destination stop for several big artists and has been a real boom to the Omaha economy.

D.M.B. April 30, 2007 at 2:41pm

My english was a tad poor in my 2nd paragraph.  What I meant to say was “I have went to many a concert, and I can honestly say that I can look back on all of them and say that the Qwest was one of the better venues”

Moses April 30, 2007 at 4:20pm

I am in my fifties and have been to concerts from Seattle to Chicago.  The experience we had at the Qwest Center was the worst experience yet.

Dave K April 30, 2007 at 8:17pm

Wow—does anyone go to concerts for the music?

Darren April 30, 2007 at 8:59pm

I’ve been to the Qwest for concerts specifically since it has opened. The parking isn’t much different then the Pepsi Center in Denver or United Center in Chicago.

MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT IS THE SOUND QUALITY—IT SUCKS!! If you sit anywhere in from the middle of the bleachers to the top you can’t hear the music. When I saw Coldplay I was about 10 rows from the floor in back and sound was still awful.

And please tell me why people pay good money to go to concerts only to talk to their friends the ENTIRE show. Omaha is horrible for this!! You’d get kicked out of any show in Boulder for that type of behavior. Great now I’m all fired up…. anyways if you plan on going to the Qwest be sure to get floor seating otherwise you’ll be dissappointed—unless of course your just go there to talk.

Moses April 30, 2007 at 9:19pm

I couldn’t agree more.  It seemed like everyone was on their cell phones talking and waving like some idiot to someone in the nose bleed seats saying see me down here. In Portland or Seattle they would have gotten slapped upside the head.

Neal May 1, 2007 at 1:23pm

I’ve only had good experiences at the Qwest. Even with what should have been the worst possible seats at one show, I thought the view and sound were both great. I got a little cramped after sitting in one spot for three hours, but I get a little cramped sitting in *any* spot for three hours.

I was also impressed that they customized the beer selection for the WWE show - the cart had Old Style, Milwaukee’s Best, Schlitt’s, Busch Light and PBR.

Mr. Wilson May 1, 2007 at 1:30pm

<em>I was also impressed that they customized the beer selection for the WWE show - the cart had Old Style, Milwaukee

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