How many times have we heard the owners, coaches, and players say the Redskins have the best fans in sports? Well, it only makes sense to keep them out of home games, right?
Washington Post broke the story that brokers could buy large blocks of tickets in exchange for purchasing the over-priced premium tickets that no one wants. Gotta sell those premiums! I'm glad there is finally some resolution as to why Fedex Field has had such a dominant force of opposing fans the last two seasons.
I cautiously believe Snyder did not have a play in this, which I'll address below, but there are some glaring holes in that belief, and his decision not to talk the media hurts even more. You need to step up Mr. Snyder and address this issue, even if you truly had no hand in it. The Fedex Field experience is not a good one and now it's your office directly to blame:
Redskins General Counsel David Donovan said the prohibited sales were discovered in the spring during an internal audit of last season's ticket contracts and involved about 15 ticket brokering companies. He said the ticket sales employees involved were disciplined
The Washington Post was able to document the sales by one ticket broker, ASC Ticket of Gaithersburg, which bought at least 5,000 tickets for nearly $600,000 during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, team records show. The tickets included 1,690 for general admission seats in the 100 sections of FedEx Field's lower bowl, among the most coveted seats in the stadium.
Donovan said Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder was unaware of sales to brokers. When he found out, Donovan said, "he was livid" and tried to have the accounts canceled immediately.
The Redskins have the highest season ticket-renewal rate in the NFL.
Redskins ticket agents worked on commission at the time. "The motive is money and laziness," Donovan said. "It is a lot easier to sell a package of 50 club seats along with 200 general admission tickets than it is to find 25 fans to buy two tickets each."
Redskins employees sold tickets on stubhub for over face value for the Pittsburgh game
I mean, sweet Jesus. Finally, we get some resolution on what happened last year. It wasn't so much the fans! So here's my question. WHY ARE THERE 5,000 GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS FOR SALE??? I know 1,000 people that would buy up those lower bowl tickets at $98 a pop. They were left open to use as leverage to sell premium tickets. I don't think to brokers, but definitely fans. Dear Lord...what a mess. How does selling 5,000 tickets to a single person not ring any bells with anyone? This is a joke.
First, I do have to give some credit to the Redskins for catching this in an internal audit. I can't imagine they wanted this to get out, but alas, it did. I only highlighted parts of the article, some of which I left out are equally troubling.
There is an entire graph of what seats were sold to who, how many, and all the lawsuits pending. It is a bit upsetting that so many fans who couldn't uphold their contracts were sued by the Redskins and then had their tickets re-sold by the organization. Other organizations do sell their tickets to brokers, so I won't go all mad on this, but let's be real. The Redskins for decades have boasted a great fan-base with with a mile long waiting list. There's no way all these ticket brokers were on the list 20 even 10 years ag, so how did they get to the top of the list?? In the article, it mentions the brokers were forced into purchasing premium tickets to get all the lower and upper tickets. A HA! The damn premium tickets. Sugar and I both have first hand experience of them cramming these tickets down our throat. I only got on the "list" last year and I received a call asking to buy club tickets in what seemed milliseconds from when I clicked "Submit" on the online form.
It's a tough call if Snyder was aware of this. How can one possibly sit in the owners' box for two consecutive years and look out at the stadium and not know what is going on? I guess that prompted the internal audit, but fans, including myself, were complaing about the fan ratio before PIT. The fact that one company/person is able to buy 5,000 tickets is RIDICULOUS!!! Is that not a red light?
[Image via vinteeage.com]