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Joe Trombatore #31837tro
Correspondent Photographer
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Welcome to Monster Jam New Orleans - NOT!

February 1, 2016 I submitted my request to attend and shoot still shots of the upcoming Monster Jam in New Orleans on Saturday February 20, 2016.  I received a response from Madeline Hooper, Regional Manager, Event Marketing &  Sales, South of Feld Entertainment stating, “I have copied Erin Doucette from The Ehrhardt Group (our PR Agency) who can assist in getting you the advance information as well as a ticket and media vest for the day of show. Still photographers will need to check in at the registration table in the loading dock prior to the event to pick up the ticket. You will have a seat in a premium seating area where you can shoot from during the show.”

Well today February 20, 2016 at 5:35 PM I arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and when I checked in at the loading dock prior to the event to pick up the ticket, the two lovely Dome Security ladies told me they had no ticket for me.  I checked my most recent email and I had received a email from Erin Doucette, Account Manager, The Ehrhardt Group (local PR firm) stating, “Joe, we placed a ticket under your name at will call and you will be able to take still photos only from your seat. Please check-in at the registration table in the loading dock.”

I showed this email to the two lovely Dome Security ladies and I was instructed will call was on the other side of the dome and I would need to walk and get the ticket prior to my registration with them since they had no information on me. 

After walking around to the other side of the dome (180 degrees of a larger than football field circle) and after signing for my ticket I returned (again around the dome back) only to find the two lovely Dome Security ladies were no longer there.

I then proceeded to my seat and discovered it would be impossible to shoot pictures from (too crowded) and asked the Section 111 Security Person if I could shoot my photos in the ADA area (handicap area and I do have a handicap ID) and he said that would be ok.

After I put my equipment together he returned to me and stated, “You cannot use any professional camera without Dome Credentials.”  I explained the previous events showing him my Press Credentials and he did not waver.  This was at 6:35 PM.  I set a text to Erin Doucette, Account Manager, The Ehrhardt Group (local PR firm) explaining my situation and 10 minutes later the response I received was, “Registration closed at 6:00 PM.”  No where in all the emails from both Feld Entertainment or The Ehrhardt Group was I ever informed about a Registration cut-off time.

Everything seemed OK until 7:00 PM as Monster Jam was beginning when the Section 111 Security Person came to me and stated, “My Supervisor wants you to come see him.”

The Supervisor (Rodney) was at a desk about a section away and made a phone call to someone unknown.  After about a minute he ended the call and stated, “without the dome credentials to stay in the building I would have to put my camera away!”  I did explaining the situation, all this while Monster Jam was taking place. 

He then asked if I had a ticket… I showed him the “comp” ticket I was given.  He again made a phone call to someone unknown. Upon completion of the 2nd call I was told I would have to leave the building.

So much for my article and photos of Monster Jam New Orleans.  I am out $15 for parking and 3 hours of my life I'll never get back.

26 years of Press Assignments and this is the "first time" I've ever been thrown out... #justsaying

© Joe Trombatore, #31837tro, aipressnola.com

POSTED: February 20, 2016
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