The UofL DFW Alumni Club's short-lived relationship with BlackFinn restaurant in Addison, Texas has ended, just two game watch parties in to the 2010 football season.
The club had planned to use BlackFinn for all 2010-2011 University of Louisville football and basketball get-togethers. But thanks to a store management refusal to dedicate any of their flat screen TVs to the game, that will not happen.
On September 18, Louisville traveled to Oregon State for a late afternoon tilt (Dallas time). Later that same night, Texas Tech would host the University of Texas in a rematch of their classic 2008 contest. By best estimates the Louisville game would be in the fourth quarter when the other game - certain to draw many more fans to the restaurant - would begin.
When the small group of Louisville fans arrived at BlackFinn to watch the Cardinals-OSU game, they began asking the manager on duty to put it on the couple of small sets near their seats. After some apparent effort to do so, the manager informed those in attendance that the game was not available to air. That is, it was on DirecTV, but only accessible to the Pacific Northwest and Kentuckiana markets.
The manager did agree to comp the drinks for the Louisville fans, who disappointedly returned to their cars and went home.
Imagine the surprise when one of the attendees turned on their television - with DirecTV - and was able to watch the Louisvile-Oregon State game on FSN Northwest. So much for the inablity to access the game in this region.
Speculation is that the manager - anticipating a huge crowd later for the Texas-Tech game - had little interest in having any of the available real estate used up by fans of a team with no natural following in the region. In other words, it was purely a money decision.
So the club won't be going back to BlackFinn.
In fact, we are currently working to select a new home for Cardinal game watch parties for the remainder of the season. If you have suggestions and/or recommendations, please share them below.
Update: The day after this article was posted, Mitch Matamoros, president of the UofL DFW Alumni Club was contacted by the manager of BlackFinn about our concerns. According to Mitch, he "was apologetic but stuck to his story about not being able to get the channel. He explained that his restaurant has to buy channels individually and not as a package and that he was told by the service provider that the game was not available."
So maybe there is more to the story than we first thought.
The manager also offered some complimentary food and drink if the club was willing to come back, and while we appreciate the offer, we're going to graciously decline. In addition to the issues raised above, sufficient cigarette smoke from the bar drifted into the seating area to negatively affect some of our members who have allergies.