Monster Jam is in southern California and my son loves monster trucks so of course the entire family had to get tickets. We were all so excited to see his reaction. I was very surprised to see how much tickets were for seats way up at the top. When I was younger, you were able to purchase a family 4 pack of tickets for 20$ and now tickets are 25$ a piece, plus taxes and fee’s. Of course we paid it and were happy to see these huge trucks do their thing at the big A!
When we got to the stadium we saw that parking was 20$ to park on the grounds. Having two little ones in tow means the closer the better, so we paid the money instead of parking in one of the neighboring parking lots for half the price.
After parking we headed up to the gate to enter. It was an absolute mess. People were clustered up trying to get through 6 metal detectors. There were no lines that made sense and tons of people cutting in line. If I was in charge, I would have roped off designated lines for each metal detector so that there was some order.
Once we were able to get into the stadium and find our seats, it was time for the show to start. Or at least we thought it was. Our tickets showed a start time of 6:30 but the event did not get started till 7:00. Finally the lights dimmed and the trucks came out. It was adorable seeing my son with his wow face. The trucks did a parade lap and he pointed out his favorite ones. We all cheered and shouted as they lined up for their qualifying laps.
After the shock of their loud engines and enormous size wore off, which didn’t take long, we were waiting for the flips, wheelies and tricks to start. They didn’t. Each truck took a turn making two laps around the designated space, then they had a wheelie competition that consisted of the trucks driving up heaps of dirt and getting a little air. There was a moment that you could almost feel the entire stadium take a deep breath of disappointment. As I noticed little boys start to lose interest, parents had to resort to pulling out their smart phones and allowing their children to watch Netflix and play games. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then had to entertain our son, as well did other parents of little ones, during a very LONG intermission.
Finally the freestyle portion was going to begin and the excitement rose again. First truck up drove around, went up the hills, did some donuts and revved its engine. Second truck the same. No crazy jumps, flips or fireworks. We all kept waiting for something amazing to happen and finally a truck tried to flip his truck, the crowd was on their feet, first time of the night besides during the wave. Finally it was getting good……. sike out! Everything in me wanted to get up and go. No one in my family was interested anymore and neither was anyone around us. The money I had spent on tickets kept me there.
The last couple trucks to go in the freestyle comp were the only trucks we had ever heard of. They put on a good show, trying flips, rolling their trucks and getting the crowd into the show but by that point, we were over it. My children had no more interest and they were ready to go. I felt sad for my son, we had built him up for a good show and that was not what we had got.
After doing a little research, we saw that Monster Jam was going on in numerous states across the United States on the same night. All the trucks that we knew of had either multiple trucks spread throughout the different shows or they were only at certain shows. Each show with only a few big name monster trucks. No name, no sponsor (or small sponsor) trucks were fillers for the shows. They were not putting on a good show because the damage to their trucks would be coming from their own bank account, not a sponsors.
When a family is spending good money to come see a monster truck show, they should receive a show and that is not what happened in Anaheim. I believe that Monster Jam saw the popularity rising and they jumped on the opportunity to make every dollar they could while it lasted but in turn the show was affected.
I am terribly disappointed because my son did not leave with a greater love of monster trucks, he left not wanting to go back.