While today's Revolution piece won't be spent railing on any particular aspect of our beloved team, it does touch on a couple of sore subjects for a lot of fans: "The Wait List", and opposing team's fans at the games.
'Tis the season to re-up for tickets and fans are excited (and rightfully so) about the positive changes in the organization. Shanahan and Allen should give season ticket holders reason to believe that their investment is being looked after a little better than under previous management.
That said, I implore all Redskins fans to consider a few important factors before simply signing up to tickets that you may or may not intend to 100% use this season.
If you are like me, you have reached a point where you worry that the money you send out the door for these tickets is more than the value you get during the season. We all see tickets to some games go for far cheaper than we actually paid for them (especially in the club level), and we all see those tickets sometimes end up in the hands of opposing team's fans. Let's forget about the club level right now...it is its own beast.
Talk to people you know have been going to games for years, or have wanted to go to games for years. Chances are they are either on the "Wait List" or are pondering a contract renewal themselves. See how many tickets they have and see if it makes more sense to join forces to ensure that:
A) Every ticket bought is one that will be used by a Redskins fan, as opposed to ending up on Ebay; and
B) Make the team go to the next Redskins fan on the "Wait List" now so that Redskin fans are the ones buying as many season tickets at the beginning of the season as possible.
Consolidation of season tickets among fans is an easy way to mitigate the problems we see each home game. It puts the burden of filling the stadium during the offseason on the ticket office, and in the wake of previous scandals, there is likely to be a greater commitment to getting ticket packages into the hands of ardent Redskins fans. Even though they are not raising prices, a consolidation effort on the part of existing season ticket holders would directly impact the supply and demand balance.
If you own season tickets, ask yourself, "Do I go to every single game no matter what?" Do you peek at the StubHub market? Do you throw your seats on Ebay a couple times a year? If you know you are not going to go to every game, and you buy your tickets with the intention of selling at least some of them in a secondary market (which is your right, of course), you are contributing to the eroding home field advantage at FedEx Field. I would argue you are better off finding someone to "TicketShare" with (is that an original term?)
I will use myself as an example: My club level contract is up this year. I have no intention of paying those prices again. My name came up on the "Wait List" (magically) so I can buy General Admission seats. But as a result of going to games for 10 years, I know of many, MANY folks who own tickets and do not go to every game. So I am pulling/pooling them together. Kevin and I will still go to every game, and we will sit in the same seats all season. But our attendance will not result in additional season ticket sales: I am merely picking up a pair of seats from some people who regularly put them on Ebay every season. If they decide to simply not renew their seats now, I will look for someone else, or I will sign up to my own season tickets and start my own TicketShare program (with fans who are themselves pondering not renewing.) In this way, we end up sitting in the very seats that end up being inhabited by fans of the opposing teams at FedEx (in theory.)
Let me be very clear: you must do what is best for you and what you think is right when it comes to buying and owning season tickets. But I think there is a very real opportunity for fans to band together on this one. We are at currently at a point (the beginning of the offseason) where this is actually an action we can take that would make a difference. It might be recieved as a weak argument from those inside Redskins Park, but I'll make it anyway: Isn't it better for the team if we at least try to ensure that tickets stay out of the hands of Eagles, Cowgirls, and Giants fans?
This will be Year One of The Revolution's TicketShare program. Maybe we have little effect this year. But we here have shown an ability to stick with stuff like this, so perhaps in subsequent years, our impact will be greater.
***Update: I just received calls from two fans (separate contracts) that are interested in our TicketShare idea. I don't think we are allowed to become a ticket brokering site, but I see no problem with matching Redskins fans up with each other to help them ensure that their seats are never occupied by opposing team's fans.
Long Live The Revolution!