The thermostat read 90º, which would be fine if not for the 80% humidity making it feel like they were standing in an open air sauna, fully dressed, surrounded by fat people. The fact that it was 7pm and still this hot only made the situation more irritating. Jake mopped his forehead with the sleeve of his blue sports coat, took a breath, and continued to eye the crowd as they filtered through the gate. Straightening his black top hat, he ran his fingers across his freshly trimmed beard, down the front of his bloused shirt, finally resting his thumbs in the empty belt loops of his loose fitting black, leather pants. He looked down briefly to be sure his alligator shoes retained their polish, then returned to counting ticket sales.
It had taken surprisingly little convincing to get the Valero Brothers, owners of the largest refuse removal company in town, to support his plan. They provided land, and the money for a security detail, lighting, and seating. But just for the first event. Either he showed a profit right out of the gate, or they were done. And if he did not repay their ‘investment’, well, he was probably done. From the looks of the turnout, that was not going to be a problem.
A large open field, zoned for warehousing that had never been built, was held by a company that the Valero’s were associated with. On either side of the field, a set of rented metal bleachers, 5 rows high, seating 20 each row, had been placed. In front of each set stood a transparent, bulletproof, wall, 10 feet high and 22 feet long. Racks of lights on extendable aluminum tripods 12 feet high, encircled the field, shining their light towards the center. Groups of teenage mexican boys hurriedly worked around the bases, securing the tripods to the ground with wires.