« Concert review: The Dead Weather at Rams Head Live | Main | The early review: Johnny Rad's »

August 3, 2010

ESPN Zone's corporate closure letter

espn zoney roney boneyWhen I walked past the shuttered ESPN Zone last week, I spotted a sign affixed to the outside door. Curious, I went up to check it out. 

Turns out, it was a note talking about how ESPN Zone is closed and stuff -- except in corporate jargon.

Whereas most local businesses would put out a hand-written note saying "We're closed, suckers!" or maybe even nothing at all (the long-closed Ullswater still had an "open" sign outside the last time I drove by), ESPN Zone went all-out.

Maybe a little too far, in fact. Here's the opening graph of the letter, which was dated June 16 ...

ESPN Zone operations in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. were discontinued today. The Los Angeles and Anaheim locations will remain open and operated by AEG and Zone Enterprises of Anaheim respectively.

It goes on with a couple graphs from some bigwigs about how regretful it is, and how ESPN Zone remained "a long term business challenge." Then they thanked their employees, vendors, customers and everybody else who made it "a first class entertainment and dining destination."

While I was standing there absorbing all this, a group of kids walked up and tugged on the door. It didn't budge. One of the kids skimmed the letter but didn't understand it. After a few seconds, another kid realized what was going on. 

"It's closed!," he said. 

Sorry, kids. espnzoneletter2.jpg

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:37 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


So much for those improved test scores. Little Johnny may be able to read words, but can't understand what they mean.

They'll catch on as soon as there's an app for that.

What the hell is this blog post about? Sam, have you ever seen corporate jargon? Which words confused you? "locations"? "operated"? "respectively"? When has a restaurant ever put out a sign that says, "We're closed, suckers!"? Is that supposed to be funny? How long did it take you to drool out this blog post, which is -- and correct me if I'm missing the deeper meaning -- about a piece of paper having been taped to the door of the former ESPNZone? What sort of salary do you make for this type of thing? Just how slow is news in Baltimore that they employ you to write this nonsense?

No wonder the Tribune Co. is bankrupt.

Any establishment that features wall-height televisions and drunk meatheads screaming about a touchdown will never be a "first class entertainment and dining destination." Period.

Are you sure they are closed? Might just be a BG&E issue.

Oh snap, Harvey Duncan! Sam, you been served a heapin' scoop of righteous rage. You been Duncan-ated!

Seriously, Mr. Duncan, have you considered adding more fiber to your diet?

P.S. Note to Hollywood, idea for new movie, "The ESPNder". Arnold Schwarzenegger ... [close up], "You've been discontinued."

Apparently someone is po'd at the world for being named Harvey.

First they came for Canton Arts and Entertainment, and I did not speak out. Then they came for ESPN Zone, and I did not speak out ...

Actually, Sparky, if you google "Harvey Duncan" and look at the third mention, you will see why. Time for a nickname. May I suggest Cilantro Duncan?

Great, what this blog Uncle Ernie

ESPN ZONE is open and will always be open. On Wed. June 16th and Thur. June 17th there was an electrical fire on Pratt street that had power out for everyone on Pratt, Lombard and Market Place. The power came back on around 10 pm Thursday; however, do to the beverage products being warm we did not open We were open for business as usual on Friday the 18th. For the future any one that ever has questions about The ESPN ZONE please feel Free to call me Robert Iger (owner) on my cell (407) 828-1000 or at the bar .(410) 685-3776 I can ensure everyone that the ESPN ZONE is doing very well and will continue to serve great food and drinks to our wonderful patrons

Oh and by the way I forgot with my above post---- Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and the Easter Bunny will be there signing autographs on Friday night 7 to 9.

And it's "due to"--not "do to".

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected