VIP viewing | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 26, 2008

VIP viewing

Posted By on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 6:04 PM

KATV tonight noted -- and credited with an on-screen graphic -- the widespread unhappiness, represented by readers of the Arkansas Blog, about the fact that Pulaski County closed off the newly opened Junction Bridge to the public so that a select group of nabobs could view the Riverfest-closing fireworks from the new pedestrian span. (I've borrowed a photo from the great unwashed of the span, backlit by the fireworks.) The specific KATV link isn't currently available, but you might be able to catch the report -- and Riverfest official's crawfishing on being caught on this outrage -- at their homepage.

Given that millions and millions of public money paid for this span, it is something of a slap in the face to give a favored few the preferred perch. Don't you think?

Who was responsible for this?

UPDATE: Someone involved in Riverfest planning said that, while there were some VIP tickets, that others were made available for distribution to the public through commercial outlets that had been sponsors of Riverfest. He said the number of tickets was limited for safety reasons. That takes a little of the rub off the situation, but I still think essentially selling access to a public facility for commercial considerations -- skybox-style treatment -- might need some rethinking in this setting. For example: How about selling a fixed number of tickets available to all on an equal basis?

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