AS I SEE IT 4/21: Old things saved and old things not

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Turns out an historic wrestling venue will be around for awhile to come after all.

San Francisco's landmark wrestling, sports and entertainment venue, the Cow Palace, got a new lease on life April 15 when California State Senator Leland Yee put a halt to his efforts to sell the venue, in order to tear it down to construct "badly needed" shopping and commercial space (guess I only thought I saw that retail strip across the street from the Cow Palace years ago when attending WWF shows). A compromise plan has been approved that will allow a overflow parking lot next door to be sold.

Daly City (the Cow Palace is technically located there) still wants to use the parking lot for development that would include a supermarket, businesses and housing. Even after the defeat of his proposal, Senator Yee still continues to refer to the Cow Palace as "a dilapidated structure [he hopes] can be rehabilitated".

Looks like many people who pressured the California State Le! gislature to kill the attempt to destroy the historic venue disagree with you, Senator....and they won.

In another example of what happens when you get rid of a money-making, popular, but older property for something new...this past Friday saw an example of bad marketing on the level of stupidity found in the "New Coke" debacle, as a longtime local Philadelphia tradition with a indirect connection to wrestling ends.

The Philadelphia Downtown Marriott has closed its long-standing Champions Sports Bar in favor of a high-tech looking sterile bar/restaurant called "13". Other Marriott sports bars around the United States have been the location of many a Ric Flair post-show escapade as reported on in recent columns, including the former Philadelphia Airport Marriott (now a Hilton).

It should be noted when Marriott Corporation built the new Airport Marriott, a similar change was made, with a fancy, sterile property guarded by stern security guards attempting! to keep out anyone looking like wrestling fans. That Marriott lost a lot of regular customers when they did it. As a result, some of those 1980s and 1990s fans would on occasion hit the Champions for beer, the Marriott's trademark Buffalo wings, and hanging out.

Well, they've apparently lost them last Friday as the old Champions fronting on Philadelphia's Market Street is shuttered with nothing directing people to the new property, with no one even checking out the new bar. Not that they'd want to, really. "13" has all the charm of a library crossed with a high-tech almost CGI look. It has lots of new booth HD plasma TVs and big ones.

But no one was there at what would be Happy Hour that night (no Happy Hour either, as people were being charged full price for everything). Hopefully, other sports bars in Philadelphia take up the slack and get the customers.

Speaking of treasuring those from wrestling's recent past, former Midnight Express member and NWA and WCW tag team champion Bobby Eaton has been going through some rou! gh times recently with a hospital stay. The folks over at the Highspots DVD/merchandise site are attempting to help raise some money for Bobby. You can donate $5, $10, or $15 from this special page, and you'll receive a FREE gift for your donation level (plus shipping).

Money can also be donated directly thought the special site money to Eaton. if you'd like to get a premium from Highspots for donating more money, you can donate $5 and receive a Bobby Eaton color promo photo, for $10 a shoot interview with Bobby Eaton, and both for $15.

Highspots and PWBTS would also ike you to send your well wishes with your donation. To send money or wish Eaton well, go to this link. 100% of the money will go to Bobby Eaton.

Until next time...

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