Why does it always seem like when the Redskins change the rules, the people that end up getting the most crapped on are the hardcore fans? The chances that the Redskins are ever blacked out locally are extremely low. But that doesn't seem to stop the powers that be from constantly discovering new ways to piss off the most ardent of Redskin supporters.
Before we all go off the deep end and incorrectly claim that the team is anti-tailgating, we should point out that instead of eliminating tailgating, the team is going to try and manage it the way they see best. This is of course their prerogative. So they hired a "consultant" and determined that the best way for them manage their lot is to tell us where to park.
Let's skip to the ways this sucks for the people who actually care about the team, and let's emphasize that this is our knee-jerk reaction to the rule changes. But let's contemplate for just a second who this hurts the most--the average fan who makes a day out of it on Sundays by setting up shop in the parking lot...NOT the muckity-muck who rolls in at 12:55 acting like he owns the place.
1) Getting there early and hanging out by the gates waiting for them to open will no longer get you that primo spot you and your family have been tailgating at for the last 10 years.
2) If you are not part of some "multi-tailgater" group, you will be directed by parking lot attendants into a spot of their choosing. Let's be clear, the parking lot attendants have NEVER been very helpful. They routinely act as if they don't care, EXCEPT when you question their "authority", in which case they relish the opportunity to wield the "power" they have been granted through their orange vest and orange flag. Now they are responsible for assigning seats at this party? These are the same people who could easily see a row of spots is 100% full, yet they send car after car down the row from the front of the lot, creating a nightmare for the people trying to find spots.
3) Between navigating the beltway, exiting the beltway, crossing whatever lanes of traffic necessary to end up in the proper turn lanes for the stadium, and the free-for-all lanes of traffic where everyone tries to get in the proper lane for their lot's color--keeping a group of tailgaters together seems next to impossible. Yet on the face of it, this is what you may very well have to accomplish to ensure you are able to park next to your friends.
4) If you don't all arrive together, you will NOT be able to park next to (or near) each other--allegedly.
5) The experience you have been enjoying and perfecting over the last 10 years is OVER if these rules are enforced the way they seem to be written as of now.
They will argue away all of our complaints by saying that tailgating will "still be welcome". But how do you plan for and implement a kick-ass tailgate when you can't even ensure all your people will a) know where you are, b) be able to get all the tools and ingredients to your spot, and c) not get hassled into a spot far, far away from the tailgate?
The parking lot has long been the sanctuary of the die-hard fan. I worry that the complaints of the people who think they can whiz in to the purple and orange lots at 12:45 and make 1 PM kickoff have dictated this policy change. You know...the people who are there to entertain clients, getting tax write-offs and not at all caring about the game itself.
I was recently called by the Redskins ticket office and offered 50% OFF DISCOUNTS on additional seating in my section THIS YEAR. My Uncle was called just this past Thursday and offered additional seats in his section for a deal. My father and his buddy who have been ticket holders for a while were also asked to participate in additional ticket deals. The three examples represent the upper bowl, the club level, and the lower bowl. Which means they are ALREADY having trouble selling all the tickets. What is going to happen when they piss off all of the die-hard ticket holders that have been willing to stomach all the shenanigans in recent years because they still looked forward to tailgating every week?
And I would be lacking the full "objectivity" that Mike Florio claims I don't have if I didn't mention that when they made their pitch to my Uncle and I, the Redskins' representative actually said that we should buy the additional seats and put them on StubHub to make money off of them. This is INSANE. First of all, they are basically saying, "Please buy these seats and then do our job for us by selling them yourself." The Redskins have a promotional agreement with Stubhub that nets Snyder six digits a year. So something stinks. Secondly, they are saying they don't care who buys the seats, just that they are bought. If they have 50,000 people in line to buy seats, they should not be asking me to buy extra tickets to sell on StubHub. They should be selling them to the tens of thousands of Redskins fans they claim are waiting to be called.
Seriously, how likely is it that Dan Snyder will become unable to sell that place out?