Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Believe What You Want

What's the difference between the Redskins "200,000 person" season ticket waiting list and Bigfoot?

There's at least grainy footage of Bigfoot.

The fact that the Redskins continue to claim that 200,000 people are ready and waiting to plunk down $$$ to gain access to the worst game day experience in the NFL (forget the product on the field, that's a whole 'nother story) is amazing.

It's simply not true. Can't be. The evidence is now becoming an avalanche.

First, a few anecdotes.

1. I've been sent 3 (count 'em, THREE!) separate "Congrats, you've made it to the top of the waiting list" letters this off-season. This, after I "Congrats, you've made it to the top of the waiting list" did the same thing last spring, and turned down the tickets. I was offered the very limited chance to buy no more than EIGHT season tickets.

2. My colleage Andy Pollie (Andy Pollie!) recently received a glorious, heavy matte, tri-fold marketing piece offering him season tickets as part of an "enhanced" VIP status at Redskin park. Full color printing, it was a very nice piece of work! Expensive! Andy never requested anything like this. He was just in the right ZIP CODE (read: rich!) for the Skins marketing air drop. He too, could "only" buy 8 tickets. He declined. But my god, you should see this printed piece they sent blindly out to people. Gorgeous!

3. Stories like this keep rolling into my inbox....


Hope all is well old friend. We were on the Redskin ticket waiting list for years, at number 50,000+ at one point. When the team moved out of RFK our hopes and dreams were realized and I was able to finally buy 2 season tickets in the upper level - nothing special, just 2 seats in the upper level where I could enjoy a few games a year with a friend or one of my kids. Hooray!! Except the return on the investment quickly deteriorated and after a couple seasons we decided to not renew the coveted season tickets.

Well, I just got in the mail the attached "We want you back!" solicitation asking me to re-purchase my season tickets in the same section I had them originally. Do you see the disconnect here? I had tickets and DELIBERATELY gave them up. Supposedly there are tens of thousands of people still on the waiting list. They actually WANT to buy tickets! Were they offered the chance to buy run-of-the-mill upper level seats and already said no? The Redskin season ticket waiting list is nothing but a farce, a media/marketing fabrication trying to drum up interest (read: internet and viral marketing eyeballs) that has little to do with actually selling tickets and filling the stadium.

I have some other observations:

1) I went to the Redskins web site to see if they indicated the size of the waiting list and couldn't find anything. But they did have a promotional video showing crazy fans in the stands who I would HATE TO BE AROUND if I was actually at the stadium.

2) The offer includes a parking pass priced at more than 50% of the individual ticket price (season ticket = $64 per game, parking = $35 per game)

3) There is a $25 handling fee which seems to provide no value whatsoever, except to Mr. Snyder

4) Gotta love that PG County "Admission and Amusement Tax" of 10% per ticket.

There are 10 games per season, but 2 are pre-season and no one attends those but the mail room guy and his drunk buddies. So I would have to pay almost $1,800 for 8 regular season games. That's $225 per game for the privilege of driving an hour and a half each way, parking a mile from the stadium, sitting in 2 seats surrounded by drunk foul-mouthed fans (unless the other team's fans show up instead, which is even worse). Don't get me started on the cost of beer, flat sodas, and cold hot dogs when the ketchup runs out by the middle of the second quarter. And of course there is no scoreboard info to follow fantasy football either.

The man-cave in the basement is underrated. My wife makes an awesome artichoke dip, with hot wings or burgers ready for dinner, and the boys and I can throw the football in the back yard at halftime.

It's nice Mr. Snyder wants me back, but I want no part of him or the stadium.

See ya soon,

And the exodus continues. I'm not even sure that winning, and winning BIG will solve it.


  1. I would agree that the season ticket waiting list is a farce. Many years ago I applied for season tickets. My name came up last year and I have received no fewer than four offers for the coveted tickets and keep throwing them away.

  2. I agree with everything this guy has to say about the costs of seeing a mediocre (or worse!) team. But, WTF? Who puts ketchup on their hot dogs?