The first of what may become a series of "shows" is poised to play at the K-Rock Centre (still known to many locals, including media, as the LVEC).
For 2 days, staff of Disney High School Musical - the Ice Tour have been trying to unload their gear from what seem to be about 8 or 9 trailers. The unloading area at the LVEC is two back-in trailer spots, both of which can't be used at the same time, unless one tractor (the part that pulls the trailer) is disconnected.
Oh yes, they also unload into the large doors where the Zamboni is parked. This is off King Street, between Place d'Armes and Barrack Streets. So that block of King Street is unavailable to vehicle traffic. (Yesterday too, a van was parked on the sidewalk on this block)
Yesterday, there were 7 trailers parked on the streets around the LVEC, either unhitched or waiting (idling) with their tractors. Unhitched trailers were/are in the on-street spots on Place d' Armes at the corner of Wellington, on both sides of King Street between Queen and Barrack, on Barrack Street in front of the Food Basics, across the main Barrack Street doors of the LVEC, on the north side of the facility (where the team buses have been idling for extended periods of time).
To access the building's unloading area, these 18 wheelers drive into the stub of King Street north of Place d'Armes; they idle there till a worker comes from the lvec to "direct" them as they back into the building. As they back into the building, traffic coming off the Causeway piles up past Fort Frontenac toward the bridge.
It is doubtful that it will take long for word to get around the tour/business world that Kingston's facility is a nightmare for touring companies. There's nowhere to park trailers that carry the costumes, the sound systems, the on-ice equipment, and the unloading area is grossly indequatee. There's no waiting area, except on-street, in the vehicle parking spots. How many touring shows will come this way? If it's a problem to unload, will they come?
Oh yes, and once they get the trucks unloaded inside the facility, where will they put all the performers' costumes/gear? There is virtually no space under the stands; the Fronts have adjacent dressing rooms, so there is the visitors' dressing room? And one other?
Didn't anyone think about all the gear and equipment that shows bring with them? Didn't anyone realize that shows travel with LOADS of equipment? Yes, many people did. But those with the votes didn't hear.
After the 2 Disney shows on Tuesday and Wednesday, the trailers have to be reloaded, and (as often happens) wait to depart in convoy. What a frustration. Word will travel quickly, "Be prepared for a nightmare of unloading/loading in Kingston." And, we can guess what the promoters will decide.
What will be interesting to observe (along with the high staff requirement to make all this happen) is the 36 hour turn-around for the Friday night Frontenac's game. And then, gasp, staging for the 2008 Freestyle Motocross World Tour slated to start less than 20 hours after the Fronts' game.
The line item for "staff" on Arcturus SMG's LVEC budget will be gigantic. Will it seep down to Kingston taxpayers?
My objection to locating this facility on this spot always was, and still is, that there are few amenities in the building; meeting rooms, under-stands space, large concourses, dining areas, suitable coat-check...all these essential were erased from the plan when they decided the building had to go here. A tragic legacy for Kingston's City Councils.