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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Leonsis and fans evaluate "101 Signs of Visible Change"

By Nicole Weissman

Is there a sports franchise owner in the whole world as accessible and responsive as Ted Leonsis? In early October, Leonsis posted on his blog, “Ted’s Take,” outlining 101 to-do list items from the first 100 days following the formation of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. 

He called the list “101 Signs of Visible Change,” a compilation of ideas and suggestions from the thousands of e-mails Leonsis received from fans. Fans asked for everything – from the long-time-coming (No. 7: Re-engage with alumni for more participation, No. 28: Change Wizards’ colors back to red, white, and blue), to the brilliant and inspired (No. 56: Add “local flavor” to the concession menus, No. 75: Add standing room only seats for Capitals), to the nit-picky (No. 20: Eliminate the “Dee-Fence” chant, No. 35: Ensure condiment containers are refilled) to the just plain hilarious (No. 38: Fresher buns, No. 59: Install beverage shelf in the men’s restrooms). In one column are the fan requests, and in the next column Ted explains what was done or is being done with regards to each item.

But he wouldn’t be Ted if he didn’t take it one step further. On www.washingtoncaps.com and www.washingtonwizards.com, fans can now give the “thumbs up” or the “thumbs down” to a number of these ideas to show which are their favorites. Today the tool is getting over a hundred new votes per hour, and so far over 11,000 votes have been cast.

Fans are by far the most enthusiastic about changing the Wizards’ colors – that item has over one thousand positive votes, and just 100 negative votes. The next closest items hover around 500 positive votes and include increasing efficiency at concession stands, opening Wizards practice sessions to the public, and creating more energy in the arena (Isn’t that our job? And why would 35 people vote against energy in the arena?). Four-hundred seventy-eight irony-appreciating voters support improved cell phone reception in Verizon Center.

I doubt that anything would have ended up on Ted’s list without fan support, but it looks like a few items aren’t getting as much positive feedback. It’s a dead heat when it comes to No. 19: More organ music -- 169 voters and counting are standing behind Jordan Kitt’s Music 100 percent, while 195 voters could do without more. Fans are also skeptical about No. 92: Social media tweetups and No. 84: Combined ticket packages including Capitals, Mystics and Wizards (which, for my part, I think is a great idea).

By my count, 76 of the 101 ideas focus on the game experience at Verizon center, leaving just 25 that deal with all other issues, including the teams’ involvement in the community. That bummed me out a little, but it’s worth noting that the non-game experience items were somewhat broader, and seem to have earned attention from the ownership group.

Take a look at the list. Do you feel like your biggest concerns (at least as they pertain to things the owners can address) are on there? Have you found the game experience much improved this year as a result of these changes? Which ones do you notice the most?

By Nicole Weissman  | November 30, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Capitals, Nicole Weissman  | Tags:  Capitals, Nicole Weissman  
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Comments

I hope the Mystics go to Red, White and Blue also!

Posted by: MrWillie | November 30, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

It's also on verizoncenter.com

Posted by: sfrancis2 | December 1, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I would be fine if they were giving the option of doing combined or just Caps ticket packages but all I have seen is just combined options. I might have actually gotten a 5 game pack but the only way to get a pack with 5 Caps games is to get 5 Wizards tickets as well. I hate basketball. It is boring to me. I will occasionally watch an NCAA game but have not made it through more then a quarter of an NBA game in my life. I don't want to be forced to buy both which is what it feels like they are doing.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 1, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that Ms. Weissman thinks that the beer shelves in the men's rooms are "hilarious." Obviously this is not an issue with which the ladies have direct personal experience, but I don't think most men consider the issue a joke.

For the ladies unfamiliar with the issue, most urinals have a flat top on which you can set your beer or other beverage while you take care of business. Some urinals' flat top space is reduced by the plumbing fixture coming out of the wall, and I've seen some places (the Carolina Panthers' football stadium being one) where the plumbing fixture is topped with a plastic disc-like thing on which you can set your beer (in the case of the Panthers' stadium, these bear sponsor logos).

At the Verizon Center, however, the urinals are of a very strange round-topped design. Prior to the installation of the shelves, there was nowhere to set your beer while you did what must be done, unless you wanted to set the beer on the floor (and I assume I need not explain why that was a bad option). Some guys would hold the beer cup in their mouths (picture holding a cup with your teeth, tongue, and lips while standing there), but with a full beer that's a risky proposition. I have long speculated that the rounded-top urinals were an intentional decision by the notoriously tight-fisted Pollin regime in the hopes that men would try to set their beers on top of the urinals only to see the beers spill (thus forcing the purchase of another beer).

The installation of the shelves thus solved a rather serious problem.

I hear you ask, in followup, why anyone would go buy the beer before going to the toilet instead of going first and then buying beer. That's a fair question, but the easy answer is that a majority of people do it in that order. The toilet lines are longer at the start of intermission and the beer lines are longer at the end of intermission. If you get the beer first, then stop at the loo, you spend less time standing on line than if you do these things in the other order. (It appears to me that the same is true for the ladies' rooms. My wife usually goes late in intermission because there are fewer people in there then.)

You may view a picture of the shelves (and the urinals) at the DC Sports Bog by going to the following address.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/redsteps910e.jpg

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 1, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that Ms. Weissman thinks that the beer shelves in the men's rooms are "hilarious." Obviously this is not an issue with which the ladies have direct personal experience, but I don't think most men consider the issue a joke.

For the ladies unfamiliar with the issue, most urinals have a flat top on which you can set your beer or other beverage while you take care of business. Some urinals' flat top space is reduced by the plumbing fixture coming out of the wall, and I've seen some places (the Carolina Panthers' football stadium being one) where the plumbing fixture is topped with a plastic disc-like thing on which you can set your beer (in the case of the Panthers' stadium, these bear sponsor logos).

At the Verizon Center, however, the urinals are of a very strange round-topped design. Prior to the installation of the shelves, there was nowhere to set your beer while you did what must be done, unless you wanted to set the beer on the floor (and I assume I need not explain why that was a bad option). Some guys would hold the beer cup in their mouths (picture holding a cup with your teeth, tongue, and lips while standing there), but with a full beer that's a risky proposition. I have long speculated that the rounded-top urinals were an intentional decision by the notoriously tight-fisted Pollin regime in the hopes that men would try to set their beers on top of the urinals only to see the beers spill (thus forcing the purchase of another beer).

The installation of the shelves thus solved a rather serious problem.

I hear you ask, in followup, why anyone would go buy the beer before going to the toilet instead of going first and then buying beer. That's a fair question, but the easy answer is that a majority of people do it in that order. The toilet lines are longer at the start of intermission and the beer lines are longer at the end of intermission. If you get the beer first, then stop at the loo, you spend less time standing on line than if you do these things in the other order. (It appears to me that the same is true for the ladies' rooms. My wife usually goes late in intermission because there are fewer people in there then.)

You may view a picture of the shelves (and the urinals) at the DC Sports Bog by going to the following address.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/redsteps910e.jpg

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double-post. When I hit "Submit" the first time, it returned an error message saying that my post did not go through, so understandably I went back and hit "Submit" again.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 1, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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