You have all been asking me what the next step is in this thing, and I am here to lay it out for you today. I am still not ready to lead any kind of universal boycott of all things Redskins but I think we have found an interesting concept that might be a happy medium at these early stages of our struggle.
For those who attend games as season ticket holders, you have witnessed countless Sundays when fans of the opposing teams have found tickets ridiculously easy to come by. Eagles fans, Giants fans, and Cowgirls fans have all infiltrated our home field and with the added insult of paying less to see the game than we paid up front.
Our suggestion is very simple: If your season tickets are up for renewal at the end of this season, DON'T RENEW. Tickets will still be readily available for thegames you wish to attend. Many of you came to this decision already without the need of a Revolution to guide you. Our idea is rooted in a few things:
1) The "Waiting List" is total crap. As a current season ticket holder, I was offered additional season tickets at the beginning of this season for 50% off! HALF-PRICE! Does that sound like a business that has tens of thousands of fans lined up to pay top dollar for their product? This story has been repeated to me by countless fellow season ticket holders.
2) The secondary market has become a primary means of securing tickets. And right now that market is flush with fans of opposing teams. Wouldn't it be great if Redskins fans were the ones looking to purchase those tickets? We all know people who sell their tickets. We all know that true Redskins fans would prefer to sell to only true Redskins fans. Well, the problem is, the majority of Redskins fans who are willing to pay money to support Dan Snyder's team have already paid in full, up front. We know tickets would be available to us for each and every game that we wanted to go to, and we would pay up to full value on a game-by-game basis if the market for that game warranted such a price. The market has NOT warranted that for a very long time. I see people giving away their tickets for pennies on the dollar every week. The difference between what they can get for their ticket and what they paid for it all goes to one place: Dan Snyder. We need to re-capture those dollars.
This would mean a little more uncertainty about planning your falls for the next year or so, because you wouldn't get your book of tickets. But I am confident that on the Craigslist-type places, Redskins fans could become a little more savvy about how to both sell and buy the tickets that are out there to ensure that the true fans are getting access to them.
I do worry about the brokers and speculative buyers dominating the market, but as we recently found out, that was happening already. And most of those brokers were unloading tickets at a loss anyway. It should be Redskins fans getting those savings! While I know we here at Hogs Haven could not become any kind of ticket broker or market, I am sure that if we banded together, we could ensure fair treatment to everyone on board the Revolution with brokers and secondary market sellers.
3) Everyone who intends to continue buying season tickets--even the year-to-year folks--we would be confident that you would be going to the games. After all, you are essentially losing money when you stroke the check for a season ticket. It is worse than buying a new car! You could be losing up to 50% of your money from a value-perspective just by mailing in your check to buy season tickets! And our mission is always to pack home games with true Redskins fans. So if it continues to be worth it to you to pay up front to go to games, we look forward to seeing you there--we just hope you won't hold it against us that we are going to pay less for our tickets than you.
If we are right and the "Waiting List" is a complete joke, the decline in season ticket renewals will have a very material impact on Dan Snyder's operation. Then we would be able to go to him and demand things like:
a) Fire Vinny Cerrato
b) Hire a proven, credentialed football mind to run this team
Once the team finds a new direction and commits to it, we could then begin the second phase of this plan, which is for the Redskins to embrace what so many other sports venues in this country have: a huge section of the stadium that everyone (opposing teams, Redskins players, fellow fans) knows is for the hardcore fans, named appropriately and rabidly attended. The Revolution will have its own section at Fedex...oh yes it will. It will be constant pandemonium and noise (except when our offense is on the field), with nobody asking you to sit down or be quiet in the middle of a freaking football game. And no Eagles fan, or Cowgirls fan would dare show up to our section and cause a stir. Some of the character lacking at Fedex that was always part of RFK experiences is lost because the fans have been divided and conquered. We have no "Dog Pound", "Black Hole", or "Screaming Eagles" type of section that helps get the stadium pumped up. All we have is the PA announcer making sure the sleepy fans know it is 3rd down. It is an embarrassment and a shame because Redskins fans deserve to have such a fan presence at games. It could only enhance the gameday experience and it could only add to the character of the stadium. We love the team and our fan leadership would be a welcome change to the direction of the PA announcer that drives most of us nuts.
If and when the team finds itself needing to find a home for gigantic blocks of tickets that aren't being sold to the "Waiting List" or to brokers, they can fill a whole section (or more) with just members of the Revolution, at a price that we all agree is acceptable. And only after the franchise pursues a direction that inspires the most ardent fans to attend in force. If they hired a bona fide GM and empowered him to move the team forward, I would feel a LOT better about shelling out dough to this team...wouldn't you?
We will be posting our second letter to Dan Snyder tomorrow with the address for anyone that wishes to print it out and send it off. I will also link to last week's letter as well (which has been edited and proofed by as many people as I could find...hehehe.)
Thanks for all your emails and kind words of encouragement and support. I look forward to the suggestions and ideas in the comments section that will make today's post even better. I will implement any and all good ideas into the letter tomorrow. We can get through this dark period together and if we play our cards right, we can have a positive impact on the team we all love. Keep your heads up Redskins fans. The Revolution is rolling.