Leonsis and fans evaluate "101 Signs of Visible Change"
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?
| November 30, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals, Nicole Weissman
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