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  1. #1

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    Marine Corps Virginia

    Exclamation Redskins Press Statement on Pending Washington Post Story (9-2-09)

    Click HERE to read a Washington Redskins statement regarding a Washington Post story tomorrow concerning legal actions taken over the last five years against a small number of corporate suite and club seat holders who have defaulted on their multi-year contracts.
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  2. #2
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    You know, when I initially read the WP article and this statement I was pretty conflicted about whether the Redskins should be suing defaulting fans.

    After thinking about it though, the fact that the Redskins are suing fans is not the problem I find in this situation, it's the fact that the Redskins put so much emphasis on dream seats, club seats, and the like in the first place.

    Club, dream, and loge seats and the like are inherently problematic in that their cost and value is not based on the actual football game going on in the stadium, but the extra amenities that you are getting during that game, amenities that take away from the traditional football atmosphere and that encourage non-football fans to attend games. Within the same stadium, ticket prices should be based on sitelines and distance from the field, not the ability to have AC/heat, premium food, and plasma screen TVs.

    DC United (that's a soccer team ) had a huge game tonight. What did they do to get fans to go? They didn't encourage purchase of club seats, including a free glass of wine and your own personal bathroom (all for the price of a small house). No no, they....GASP!...cut ticket prices in half and dropped beer prices by $6. And do you know what happened? The fans showed up...more than twice the number that showed up for the same game last year. And the vibe at RFK was out of control awesome. Fans were on their feet the whole time, cheering, singing, etc, without getting bitched out by someone who "can't see the field."

    Now do I expect the Redskins to cut ticket and/or beer prices? Not in my right mind. But the point is that when in the immediate future you cater to your fans and not your own wallet, you will see positive results. You will see more fans in the stadium, you will see better fans in the stadium, and your organization will be much more well-regarded as a result. Most importantly, you will see long-term results. Because at the rate things are going now, I don't see many people keeping tickets in their families as long as Pat Hill kept hers.

    /rant
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  3. #3
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    And the reason they can't just revoke the tickets and offer them to the next person on the waiting list is................................?
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  4. #4
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    Florida Atlantic

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    You guys aren't seeing the forest through the trees - they are suing corporate ticket holders, all in suites and club levels. These are companies, not necessarily fans, who give their tickets to employees or clients or whatever, and aren't paying. The club and suite levels aren't part of the season ticket waiting list anyway - I could buy season tickets in the club level today, if I wanted to, but they are pretty pricy.

    If a company or even a fan is defaulting on 40K - 1 MILLION dollars in debt, what do you expect the Skins to do? Say "Oh well, they're Redskins fans so we'll just overlook their debt, no big deal." Its a business, with lots of employees. If they lose significant chunks of revenue like that, they can't pay their employees, and the whole thing suffers. Ever stop to think that maybe these corporate DBs not paying their bills is why beer is $8 a friggin' cup??
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  5. #5

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    Virginia Tech

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    One thing noticeably missing from the WP piece of the team's statement, unless I've overlooked it, is context. As in, how does the Redskins' approach to dealing with collections--on any level of unpaid ticket packages--compare/differ from what the other 31 NFL clubs do? Or the other major professional sports leagues for that matter?

    I don't know how anyone can have an educated opinion on the rights and wrongs of this one without at least some of that context.
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  6. #6
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Good point, Om. Hard to even judge, when 31 other teams are probably dealing with the same issues in a similar way. Well, maybe not all 31, but the more popular, constantly sold out teams.
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    Om - reading the article, there is plenty of context in it:

    Donovan said other teams sue their fans. "I don't know of any pro football team that doesn't," he said.

    But spokesmen for the following National Football League teams said they do not sue their fans over season ticket contracts: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans.

    The New England Patriots have sued multiyear premium ticket holders. A Chicago Bears spokesman said, "In rare instances, we have sued."

    Officials with the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts declined to comment on the query. Other teams did not respond.

    Officials of most Washington area sports franchises that have season ticket accounts said they generally avoid such lawsuits. Nate Ewell, spokesman for the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, said he could not think of a reason to sue a ticket holder. When a season ticket holder fails to make payments, the team cancels the tickets and resells them.

    "Lawsuits are generally a last resort sort of thing," said Peter Bich, president of business operations for Washington Sports and Entertainment, which runs Verizon Center, where the Capitals and the National Basketball Association's Wizards play. "We're not in the lawsuit business. That's not how we run our business."
    They even talked to the Caps and Wiz premium ticket office.
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  8. #8
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    Not surprised in the least. This Dan Snyder ownership. Nothing is surprising or shocking.
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    Virginia Tech

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    Om - reading the article, there is plenty of context in it:


    They even talked to the Caps and Wiz premium ticket office.
    Fair enough. So, nine out of 31 teams say they don't sue. Leaving 22 that either do, or won't comment. Making the Redskins pretty much middle of the road on sheer numbers. Seems to me this is another WP tempest in a teapot. The power company cuts off your power when you don't pay. Same with the water, phone, gas, cable. They seek judgments and garnishments against you when you don't pay up. No one writes breathless newspaper articles about it.

    The Redskins are not suing Ma and Pa for non-payment of a contract Ma and Pa entered into.

    "On average, the team has filed twenty to thirty lawsuits each year since 2005 to try to enforce long-term contracts of corporate suite and club seat holders who defaulted on their obligations. Those lawsuits represent less than of one percent of all the contracts the team has for the more than twenty-five thousand corporate suites and club seats at FedExField."

    How anyone can find real-world objective fault with that escapes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by PennSkinsfan View Post
    Not surprised in the least. This Dan Snyder ownership. Nothing is surprising or shocking.
    Including that smart people still feel this way even when it seems totally misplaced, like on this issue.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post

    The Redskins are not suing Ma and Pa for non-payment of a contract Ma and Pa entered into.
    Sure they are. The article opens with one example of many included in the story.

    In the hallway of her modest home south of Alexandria, the 72-year-old grandmother points out the burgundy-and-gold Redskins hook rug she made. In her bedroom, she shows off the pennants from two Redskins Super Bowl games she attended, and she opens a music box on her dresser that plays "Hail to the Redskins."

    Now, Hill says, her beloved Redskins are forcing her into bankruptcy.

    Last year, Hill's real estate sales were hit hard by the housing market crash, and she told the team that she could no longer afford her $5,300-a-year contract for two loge seats behind the end zone. Hill said she asked the Redskins to waive her contract for a year or two.

    The sales office declined.

    On Oct. 8, the Redskins sued Hill in Prince George's County Circuit Court for backing out of a 10-year ticket-renewal agreement after the first year. The team sought payment for every season through 2017, plus interest, attorneys' fees and court costs.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    And the reason they can't just revoke the tickets and offer them to the next person on the waiting list is................................?
    Because there really isn't one?
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  12. #12
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    Seems to me this is another WP tempest in a teapot.
    Yeah, seems that way to me too. Its well known there is a feud btw the team and WaPo...this is just their way of sticking it to Snyder.

    Personally, I think some of Snyder's seating tactics are pretty shady - taking seats down 8 rows closer to the field but blocked by the players, and obstructed view-seats to name a couple things, but those are actually pretty minor. If you don't like obstructed view, don't buy the tickets. Its pretty simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Sure they are. The article opens with one example of many included in the story.
    Eh...one 72-year old woman; somebody always slips through the cracks. And I bet the tickets are in her real estate company's name, not "Esther B. Littleoldlady."
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  13. #13
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    Minnesota

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post

    Ren, I know you are a soccer fan and God bless you for it but there is no real marketing in soccer compared to football. I saw yesterday on ESPN that the average NFL team is worth 1.4 BILLION dollars. The Skins are worth far more then that and up until Jerrah decided to build a new stadium we were the #1 team in the NFL for worth and value. But besides all that when these swanky companies buy these suites they are doing it most of the time to impress clients, potential investors, etc and those little things like wine and AC are needed. You cant sign a big deal while sitting next to me and J-Rock while were yelling obscenities at the field hammered drunk waving our beers around. So they agree to pay more for the privacy and classier joint.
    That's exactly my point and what I take issue with. The organization is creating a product that's not even based on football anymore.

    And my point with the DCU example is not that the Redskins should cut ticket prices and expect all to be fixed, but that there should be more emphasis on getting fans to games. In my opinion the organization is doing everything possible to filter out everyday fans from the game day experience. I'm honestly just waiting for the day that they start charging to ride the escalator up to the upper level.

    Also I've been on the wait list for 4-5 years now. I think I get an e-mail about once a month inviting me to purchase club seats.
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  14. #14
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    My problem isn't that ticket prices are high, it's that some are not based on the football game anymore. I have no problem charging more for better sight lines or being closer to the field and that's why I'm still on the wait list.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Sure they are. The article opens with one example of many included in the story.

    In the hallway of her modest home south of Alexandria, the 72-year-old grandmother points out the burgundy-and-gold Redskins hook rug she made. In her bedroom, she shows off the pennants from two Redskins Super Bowl games she attended, and she opens a music box on her dresser that plays "Hail to the Redskins."

    Now, Hill says, her beloved Redskins are forcing her into bankruptcy.

    Last year, Hill's real estate sales were hit hard by the housing market crash, and she told the team that she could no longer afford her $5,300-a-year contract for two loge seats behind the end zone. Hill said she asked the Redskins to waive her contract for a year or two.

    The sales office declined.

    On Oct. 8, the Redskins sued Hill in Prince George's County Circuit Court for backing out of a 10-year ticket-renewal agreement after the first year. The team sought payment for every season through 2017, plus interest, attorneys' fees and court costs.
    Ouch.

    Guess I'll actually read the piece next time instead of just the team's reponse.

    Time for Messrs. Swanson and Donovan to whip out a 'further clarification' release.
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  16. #16
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    It's the principle - the emphasis on premium seats in the first place. I honestly don't know if my tickets, parking pass, and other various fees pay for the premium seats, or vice versa.

    But this was my original issue:

    Now do I expect the Redskins to cut ticket and/or beer prices? Not in my right mind. But the point is that when in the immediate future you cater to your fans and not your own wallet, you will see positive results. You will see more fans in the stadium, you will see better fans in the stadium, and your organization will be much more well-regarded as a result. Most importantly, you will see long-term results. Because at the rate things are going now, I don't see many people keeping tickets in their families as long as Pat Hill kept hers.
    I think this situation and the ticket brokers one just highlight the overarching issue that the Redskins are very misguided when it comes to their fans.
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