Thursday, June 20, 2013

Charging Kindgergarteners For Tap Water: More Family Fun From the Omaha Storm Chasers

I admit it that I'm not a fan of the Omaha area's minor league baseball team, mostly because I"m not a fan of the Kansas City Royals.  I've only been to one game in the last ten years or so, and frankly that wasn't exactly a positive experience.  So no, I haven't been to a game out at the Trailer Park.

But my wife was there last year on a work outing, and yesterday, my daughter went to "Kids Day" as part of her summer school program.  We had hoped to send an empty bottle for her to fill with water, but that apparently isn't allowed.  ("Send $10 with your child" was the recommendation we received.)  I tried to call the team offices Tuesday evening for clarification on their policy, but apparently nobody at Werner Park answers the phone during a game.

Image Courtesy Millard Public Schools Foundation
So we sent the money with our daughter this morning, after dealing with her displeasure at having to wear shorts with a pocket for the money. (As parents of any kindergartener knows, practicality is generally not a factor in a child's clothing choices...)  Along with an empty bottle, just in case.  We told her to be sure to buy a bottle of water if she couldn't take her empty bottle in to get filled

Well, the bottle wasn't allowed.  We kind of expected it, even though we've never had an issue at any other sporting event.  And my daughter had a great time, and more importantly, came back with the change.  She kept track of the money, and bought cotton candy and a medium cup of water.

I missed it the first time my daughter told me about it.  But over supper, we talked about it again, and how much she spent.  The cotton candy was $4, she said, and the water was $2 for a small, $3 for a medium, and $5 for a large cup.  And then she said "cup" again.

And suddenly I grasped what had happened.  My daughter had been charged $3 for a cup of tap water.  (Well, and ice.)  I expected that she'd probably have to pay for a bottle of water.  But that's not what she got.

She got Tap water.

Really?  $3 for a cup of water?

It was a 90 degree day out there, so it's not like she had a choice in the matter.  She even mentioned that she couldn't find a drinking fountain anywhere.  So I'm proud of my daughter for knowing what she spent and recognizing that she needed to make sure to have something to drink versus some other trinket.

It's not the money, it's really the principle of the situation.  Charging up to $5 (large) for a cup of the Metropolitan Utilities District's finest tap water?  Not allowing you to bring in an empty bottle, like the Nebraska athletic department or, even worse, those evil money grubbing bastards at MECA?

That's a business and a team I want to support. 

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