If you are a woman and have had to use a public restroom at a concert, sporting event, mall, movie, airport or any number of other places, you know that there’s almost always a line. Despite this issue, the stadium where Canadian NHL team the Edmonton Oilers plays decided to convert several women’s bathrooms to ones for gents. Needless to say, the ladies were not pleased.
This all happened on Sunday, during a playoff game at the Rogers Place arena. Female fans of the hockey team were “surprised” that women’s bathrooms had been converted to men’s bathrooms, causing wait times to skyrocket—sometimes to a whopping 25 minutes.
This switchover came as a result of male fans complaining about “lengthy lines” for bathrooms during earlier Oilers playoff games.
In an attempt to reduce wait times for both bathrooms, the Oilers Entertainment group positioned a staff member in the bathrooms to help point out empty stalls to fans, and “putting sticks on the floor” so that patrons would know where to line up.
“For playoffs, what we’re seeing is we’re getting predominantly men in here—the more exciting the hockey gets, I think the less guys are willing to give up their tickets,” Susan Darrington, general manager of Rogers Place, told Global News Canada. “So we’ve adjusted our plans and we flipped a restroom on our main and on our upper concourse to be more available for men.”
Except plenty of women still watch hockey and go to hockey games, so when the women’s bathrooms backed up completely, patrons took to Twitter to voice their collective outrage.
@EdmontonOilers @RogersPlace TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE THAT YOU HAVE CHANGED HALF THE WOMENS BATHROOM INTO MEN #stupid
— HugSpecialist (@OilersAlbMom) May 1, 2017
Another fan wrote on Twitter:
@RogersPlace @EdmontonOilers heads up on bathroom changes would be nice! One women's bathroom for the entire end of the arena…come on now!
— Stacey Brennan (@12sbrennan) May 1, 2017
“I go to the washroom that’s always the women’s washroom and it’s a men’s washroom. So we make our way three-quarters of the way around the building and the women’s washroom is 60 deep,” Charlene Zarnuck told Global News. “There was no lineup at the men’s washroom that was previously the women’s washroom, so that made it even more frustrating.”
Many women who had to wait nearly half an hour to use the restroom merely elected not to drink or eat anything later in the game to avoid the restroom entirely.
“I get that the men had to wait, and it was an inconvenience for them, but they solved the problem by creating another problem,” Zarnuck said.
It seems like the entertainment staff at Rogers Place will have to reassess the bathroom issue or risk alienating more fans.