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Thinning Crowds: Are Fans Revolting?

Don't look now, but attendance is softening for most local sports teams. As the Post reported last week, the Capitals are scraping the bottom of the attendance ranking in the National Hockey League. No-shows have long been a problem for the Wizards, who are still drawing mediocre crowds even though Gilbert Arenas is playing electrifying ball and the team is sitting atop their division. The Nationals suffered a sophomore slump last summer and there's no reason to believe they will do any better with a much worse team this coming campaign.

Pro sports franchises are not alone in this sad situation: The ever-higher quality of home entertainment makes many people less likely to leave their own living room. This shift in habits has hit the movie, theater and concert businesses in a big way, as David Denby writes in the New Yorker.

Traditionally, the Washington Redskins have been virtually immune to such societal shifts. Despite their sad performance on the field this year, the Skins once again led the NFL in attendance, with a very impressive average crowd of 87,631, nearly 10,000 more than the nearest competitor. So owner Danny Snyder can legitimately argue that all his price-gouging and greed do not seem to have dampened local enthusiasm for a long day at the former Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.

Except that not a week went by during this football season in which I didn't hear from a slew of Skins fans who say they either are giving up their season tickets or are leaning in that direction--not because of the team's failure to make the playoffs, but because of the soaring prices for everything from soda to parking to seats, and because of the persistent problems with fan behavior.

"I have been a Redskins season ticket holder for close to 40 years," writes Jose Gonzalez of Fulton, Md. But Gonzalez has given up two of his four tickets and is now considering giving up the remaining two because of fan behavior at the games and because of Snyder's move to buy WGMS and push out the region's last remaining classical music radio outlet so he can convert it into a fourth station to carry his Redskins Radio sports talk format.

"How many dreams of how many people is Mr. Snyder going to dissipate before he stops being a mercenary in whatever line of business he gets in?" Gonzalez asks.

Gonzalez's son Chris emailed his father last month that it might be time to give up on attending the games:

Dear Dad:
If you don't wish to renew the Redskins tickets for next year, that's just fine with me. As you know, I went to the game yesterday. If you saw the game, you will agree: They really stink. To top that off, when I got back to my car, I found that someone had busted out my driver's side window and rummaged through all of my stuff. The same happened to several other cars in the parking lot.
...Thanks for buying the tickets and parking for us all of these years. I really have appreciated it....

Obviously, Snyder can afford to tick off thousands of fans before he'd suffer any significant consequences, and equally obviously, the depths to which hard core fans will go to see their favorite teams are pretty darn deep.

But sports executives I've spoken to do worry that ever-escalating salaries and ticket prices, along with oversaturation of sports coverage on TV, will put pro sports into the same predicament that the movie and concert industries now face.

Are the Redskins really immune from those social forces, or will Snyder's comeuppance merely arrive a few years later than those of his peers who are blessed with less loyal fan bases?

One other alternative: Will Snyder seek to ease fans' pain by serving up the only perfect fix for Package Delivery Field? Will he turn it into a shopping mall? D.C. officials tell me Snyder has had preliminary discussions with top city leaders about moving the Redskins back to the District. Snyder is reportedly interested in a development deal similar to one that is now emerging between the District and the D.C. United soccer team's new owners--essentially, Snyder would agree to pay for a new football stadium on the grounds of RFK Stadium in exchange for the right to develop some of the land around the stadium, presumably with some combination of retail, residential and perhaps another tourist attraction (Can you spell Six Flags?) This is all in the earliest discussion phase, but wouldn't it be something if a city that not long ago had but one pro sports franchise within its limits (those same Redskins back in their RFK days) found a way to be home to teams in baseball, football, basketball (men's and women's), hockey, soccer and lacrosse?


By Marc Fisher |  January 9, 2007; 7:26 AM ET
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All Danny Boy cares about is the bottom line and the return on his investment. If he really cared about winning or losing we wouldnt have old drooling farts like Gibbs coaching the team and there would be a GM for the Washington football team. Only thing that will improve the Washington Football team is a new owner and that may happen in next 24mos if rumors from the investment banking world are true.

Posted by: Vaherder | January 9, 2007 7:49 AM

The Caps and the Wizards have disappointed us too many times in the past with stellar play then not making or tanking the playoffs. The weathers been nice, Abe Pollin is just as greedy as Snyder and theres football on TV. Same thing will happen to NASCAR, just watch. You either get cookie-cutter 20 somethings in NASCAR, noby you ever heard of in hockey or lower class thugs with new money in b'ball.

Posted by: Stick | January 9, 2007 7:54 AM

Finally, a good Snyder-bashing. It's been at least three weeks since you've treated us to something like this, Marc. Personally I was getting tired of feeling smugly superior to those rural bumpkins who want to own guns.

Of course, the headline "Thinning Crowds: Are Fans Revolting?" is a bid misleading given the thickening crowds that the Redskins draw. That point seemed to elude you. And you use an example of a fan who is considering dropping his two season tickets to make your point that -- what? Snyder's businesses are still in their ascendancy, so it's a bit early to be predicting their demise.

So, who exactly is the Most Hated Man in Washington? Snyder always draws a bunch of frothing-at-the-mouth posters. There was that poor lady from Gallaudebt that drew a bunch of frothing-at-the-hand posters. George Allen's always good for a summary execution. Steele?

Personally, I think it would be admirable for Snyder to build a new stadium with this own money. Jack Kent Cooke tried it and was brushed off by the Mare, Sharon Pratt Kelly Dixon (a new broom sweeps clean!)

It was the District Government that created this mess, and more power to Mr. Snyder if he can cut through that wasteland and put the Redskins back where they belong.

Posted by: KK | January 9, 2007 9:01 AM

Redskins games are only worth going to if they win. The trip on metro is a haul and walking to the stadium is another haul. Then once inside you have to put up with idiot fans who are unbelievabley profane and drunk. All of this fun for a $70 ticket and a team that does not care whether it wins or loses.

Posted by: Logan | January 9, 2007 9:07 AM

How on earth could someone call Abe Pollin greedy? He built the Phone Company Center with $200 million of his own money, single-handedly providing the catalyst that transformed the Penn Quarter from depressing urban blight to one of the cit's most vibrant neighborhoods.

Abe Polin may not be standing on a street corner handing out free Wiz tickets (and aside from those $10 nose-bleed seats, lord knows they ain't cheap), but he also personally built a first-rate sports arena in downtown DC, at least partly because he wanted to give something back to the city he loves.

Check this quote from a 1997 WaPo article printed a week before the building opened:
"I walk through that building [and] I get tears in my eyes. . . . It's unbelievable," Pollin said. "I've got everything I've ever done in my life on the line. I've pledged everything. My advisers think I'm nuts. But I wanted to do something special for my town."

So cut Abe some slack. He's not some nouveau-riche cheesed*ck like Snyder trying to gouge a loyal fanbase. By contrast, Abe Pollin deserves a medal and a friggin' statue for eveything he's done for this city!

GO WIZ!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2007 11:05 AM

PLEASE FAX your complaints to Bonneville HQ, Tell them how you feel... Tell them how appreciative you are of Bonneville for killing Classical in Washington DC after almost 60 years and tell them how their corporate money hungry attitude has back lashed so far.

Tell them they have no INTEGRITY!

FAX Bonneville 801-575-7534, Dan Snyder FAX 703-726-7086

Posted by: ak1@hotmail.com | January 9, 2007 11:21 AM

PLEASE FAX your complaints to Bonneville HQ, Tell them how you feel... Tell them how appreciative you are of Bonneville for killing Classical in Washington DC after almost 60 years and tell them how their corporate money hungry attitude has back lashed so far.

Tell them they have no INTEGRITY!

FAX Bonneville 801-575-7534, Dan Snyder FAX 703-726-7086

Posted by: ak1@hotmail.com | January 9, 2007 11:21 AM

PLEASE FAX your complaints to Bonneville HQ, Tell them how you feel... Tell them how appreciative you are of Booneville for killing Classical in Washington DC and tell them how their corporate money hungry attitude has back lashed so far. Tell them they have no INTEGRITY!

FAX Bonneville 801-575-7534, Dan Snyder FAX 703-726-7086

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2007 11:22 AM

"Thickening crowds"?

The ESPN stats Marc links to show the Skins at a three year low.

PR flackery aside, Dan's no concept of good corporate citizenry.

Posted by: Mark | January 9, 2007 12:03 PM

Actually, any game that has completely sold out can be considered to be money left on the table. Maximum revenue can be realized by having an escalator clause in the seating contract where the price will depend to some extent on the number of unsold seats. This would allow the stadium or theme park to get some of the revenue that is siphoned off by scalpers. Season ticket holders will get a flat rate, walk up and small package buyers will pay a premium linked to demand--as more tickets are sold the price will increase. There is a formula that will ensure that there are always a (small) number of tickets at the box office for patrons willing to pay the freight and will allow for the maximum amount of gate revenue.

It should be possible have a constant number of people in the seats for beer sales, trigger the tv blackout stipulation-making seats more valuable and still increase gate revenue without overly impacting the season ticket holders that buy the most licensed material.

Posted by: DanS | January 9, 2007 1:20 PM

As a Redskins fan I fear the lack of a sell out and not being able to see the game on TV locally. My name is on the list, and I get the premium ticket offers but I will not buy tickets to the game. Watching at home is just fine for me. The NFL is a good product, but it is also a comfort product for home viewing. I actually prefer watching the game at home in comfort with replays and without the drunks. [Apparently snyder does not like to show replays, particularly those negative to the Redskins.] I went to the NYGiants game and saw a couple of fights. The tussles were nothing compared to the angry drunks and the language.

Posted by: RobGreg | January 9, 2007 2:16 PM

Earth to Mark--

Thickening fan base: The Redskins earn their money based on how many buy season tickets, now how many show up at the stadium. Every year they cram a few more seats into the stadium and every year they sell a few more season tickets.

Posted by: KK | January 9, 2007 2:21 PM

Marc - the premise for your article is accurate. At some point market forces kick in and directly affect attendance (prices of tix, number of and availably tix, alternate uses for that discretionary income) . Performance is an important part of the equation, but a championship caliber team in any sport is usually, over the long term, a short term phenomena during the life of a franchise (Yankees excluded, although they had bad times in the 60's and early 70's)). The other factor is the number of other activities that fights for that discretionary dollar. We are blessed in the DC metro area to have so many activities to do on any given night. That is what makes this area so attractive to so many people.

But the bottom line factor, is that outside of NYC (due to extremely large population size) attendance is for most sports in most cities is much more sensitive to price (decreasing price elasticity), team performance, and competing alternate activities.

Lastly, football is smart to keep a schedule of 16 games. When there are only 8 home dates that keeps supply low and thus the importance of each game high. Baseball (162 games), NHL and NBA with 82 games offer much more supply than the market is apparently willing to support. Reducing their schedules would probably increase average per game attendance but may have the adverse affect of decreasing overall revenue.

Posted by: kthhken | January 9, 2007 2:24 PM

Well before we go blowing up Abe's *$$, let's just say it was his way of thanking the people who supported his team from past to present....dedicated fans, you gotta fill the seats...Abe could sell the building and move on with his life, so it's not as much of a sap story as your selling.

Abe is and foremost a business man, not a priest.

However, he is a good man and has been a dedicated business man to this city.

God Bless Him!

Posted by: Frankey | January 9, 2007 2:24 PM

Marc - One other point, I'm not convinced that decreasing attendance = decreasing interest. With so many more viewing options, satellite, internet, mobile phones now, etc., people can consume sports products in more diverse viewing ways than ever before in history.

Posted by: kthhken | January 9, 2007 2:28 PM

There are two different interpretations to that phrase, lol. Actually it's the owner in this case who is revolting.

My sister finally got the top of the non-club level season ticket waiting list and has sent in a deposit for two tickets. She called me very excited about the prospect and inviting me to go with her to some of the games, but frankly, I dread the possibility of attending ANY games at Fedex field. It's costly, horribly time consuming, and the team's owner is a perfect example of part of what's ailing professional sports. And reading the other post about vandalism in the stadium parking lot just adds to my concerns.

Posted by: Revolting Fans? | January 9, 2007 2:31 PM

I sell drugs and live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Posted by: AAaron Church | January 9, 2007 2:32 PM

I sell drugs and live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Posted by: AAaron Church | January 9, 2007 2:32 PM

To AAaron Church, thank you and we will find you.

Posted by: Police | January 9, 2007 2:35 PM

I've never been to a Redskins game and probably never will. Too expensive for somebody who doesn't make enough to drive a new truck and own a condo.

Wizards = a hundred bucks just on upper deck tickets to take my girlfriend to a game.

Mystics/Caps/United are a bargain at only half that for upper deck seats in the corner.

Nationals are okay at about 30 bucks for two seats. Now if only they could play...

Yeah... Seats are overpriced. A family trip to the game, I just don't see how it's done any more. Sad... I would have liked to have taken kids some day.


Posted by: Greg | January 9, 2007 2:36 PM

I used to have partial and full season ticket plans for the Caps. Then I had a baby, so we haven't been to a game in a couple of years now. He was born in January 2004 and then of course, there was the lockout season.

Right now, I simply don't have the time or money to go. I wish I did, and when the little guy gets older, I'd love to take him. But to go now, it's tickets for two, and babysitting for one, which would end up as much or more as another ticket.

I think generally the Caps are a good deal for the money. Many NHL teams, and I think the Caps are a specific example, rely far more on ticket sales because they get so little TV revenue. And I could be wrong, but I think the Caps get very little money from concessions or parking, and pay rent to Verizon Center. So I think an up- or downturn in attendance has something of a magnified effect in comparison to the other major sports.

Posted by: Capsfan6 | January 9, 2007 3:00 PM

The Wizards are not leading their division. How about a little fact checking by checking your own paper?

Posted by: Sean | January 9, 2007 3:06 PM

Problem #1: Fed-Ex Field and the game day experience
Snyder inherited the Fed-Ex Field mistake, which was the fault of the DC government, not the team. The economics of the football business dictated a bigger, more corporate-lavish stadium, and JKC tried to build a new stadium in DC with his own money, but the boneheads in the DC government kept saying no. He was left with no choice. Now we hear that some are eager to move the team to a new stadium on the RFK grounds. Well that's great, fifteen years too late. Where Snyder gets some flak is in the gouging of the fans with outrageous prices for everything. There's nothing else going on there than his executives telling him that he can get more and more money out of an enthusiastic, relatively affluent fan base. As for fan behavior, that's a serious problem everywhere, and in some stadiums it's a lot worse.

Problem #2: Overexposure
Marc alluded to the sports-entertainment juggernaut that is reaching saturation point. There's only so much you can take. Snyder is certainly contributing to this phenomenon with his radio network, etc., but he's only doing what every NFL owner, the League itself, and most pro sports leagues are trying to do. If these efforts don't generate revenue streams because the public starts tuning it out, then the ventures will be scrapped.

Problem #3: The team stinks
This is partly Snyder's fault. The truth is he acquired a team that was in the midst of an identity crisis, supported by a fan base that did not recognize or accept that their squad was no longer dominant. To his credit, he came in with the determination to return the team to elite status, quickly. Where he screwed up is in not recognizing that football is not like other businesses. He did not listen to wise people who urged him to hire a GM and build through the draft, bringing in free agents as needed. Prior to Gibbs' return, he managed the team in every way except the right one. The other half of the blame, sad to say, is on Gibbs. The coach refused to recognize that he is not the best player personnel manager. Wasn't in his first term, either. The Brunnell decision was a disaster. The acquisition decisions, taken as a whole, make no sense. The coaching structure is dysfunctional.

Posted by: Claudius | January 9, 2007 3:07 PM

I thought I had really made it when I got Redskin season tickets! I gave up my beloved tickets this year - no regrets.
No time spending an entire day sitting on the beltway in traffic, paying for parking or shuttle, expensive bad food and beer, disappointing game, passing beer and money back and forth and getting spilled on by drunk people, boring cheap half time shows, bad jumboscreen with no replays, stupid promos. It's always comfortable at my house and I can switch to other games.

Posted by: Kirsten | January 9, 2007 3:08 PM

I think comes down to the number of games for the Redskins. 10 (2 preseason) games, mostly on weekends, is far more justifiable as a season ticket purchase compared to 81 or 41.

If the team keeps tanking, the attendance may not go down, but expect to see more and more people sell off their tickets to opposing fans or to people who might want to see one game per season live.

Posted by: tallbear | January 9, 2007 3:22 PM

Re the Redskins - I've been going to games since 1993, and the person I go with has had tickets since the early 1960s. We go regardless of quality of team - although the consistency of the poor play over 10+ years has us worried. I think driving to FedEx guarantees that you'll have a bad experience. We've taken Metro for years (at RFK and at FedEx). Metro has really got their system down pat - $5 for the shuttle isn't bad, compared to what parking costs. And getting out of the stadium and on the way home takes a lot less time. Plus you get to enjoy all of the comments from all of the fans (most of whom these days seem to be rooting for the opponents).

I believe that the number of attendees at the games remain steady because so many of the season ticket holders have given (sold?) their tickets each game to fans of the opposing team. We're surrounded now by non-Redskins fans - we used to know most of the people around us. No more.

And ... the behavior is appalling. In the last couple of games, I had beer sprayed on my back, got beer dumped behind my seat, which trickled over my shoes, saw people in front of me spill 16 0z beer cups on the people in front of them, people in the row in front of me throw up! on people in front of them (different attendees, same group of seats). And ... almost everyone in the rows in front of us now stand, which means we have to stand as well. We pay $109 per ticket, and yet have to stand to see the game!!!??? And ... to make matters worse, since there are so many of the other teams' fans there, we have to stand in order to watch the 'Skins lose. That really bites.

We're not sitting in the junker seats (are there any of those at FedEx) - we're 14 rows behind the 'Skins bench around the 40 yard line.

Posted by: KCSmith | January 9, 2007 3:41 PM

Despite being a born and bred Washingtonian, I have gone to exactly one Redskins game, where I sat in the very last row of FedEx Field (or whatever they're calling it these days). It was when, after walking up an endless series of walkways, I was greeted with a sign reading "Escalators Coming Next Year" that I decided I'd never go to a Skins game again. The lousy parking situation, Snyder's rapacious nature and the on-field fortunes of the team also contribute to my feeling, more or less in that order.

Instead, I have Hoyas and Nats season tickets. My parents lived in Georgetown, so I grew up loving the team. And the Nats? Basically, I'm just happy to have a baseball team in the city, so I will go out and support them no matter what.

The nice thing about both RFK and Verizon is that they are easy to get to. I don;t have to leave work early to get to games, and I get home at a reasonable hour, having enjoyed an evening out having supported my hometown teams.

While many will likely disagree with me, I welcomed the downtown arena as I believe it really helped revitalize that area of downtown. I hope and expect the same will happen with the new baseball stadium.

Why do I not go to either the Wizards or the Caps? It's simply a choice. I'm not much for hockey and prefer college hoops over pro.

But there's another reason, and I think it has something to do with why attendence is declining everywhere: ticket prices. For both the Nats and the Hoyas, I pay well below $40 a ticket and have VERY good seats in both cases.

Maybe if ticket prices came down a bit and it didn't cost $300-400 bucks (tix, dinner, transportation, etc.) to take the family to a game, more seats would be filled.

Posted by: Hoyas, Nats Season Tix | January 9, 2007 3:45 PM

It's too bad you couldn't bring yourself to acknowledge that the best fan experience in town is RFK for DC United games. True, there are considerably fewer than the 87,000 Herr Snyder crams into his stadium, but there is usually a healthy crowd paying modest (by today's standards) prices for a great game played by talented, enthusiastic players.

Vamos United!

Posted by: Paul | January 9, 2007 3:51 PM

Dan Snyder has ruined the game day experience of going to a Redskins game. I wish JKC had never built that dump in Raljon or wherever the heck it's located these days.

$35 to park a car? Only a greedy bastard charges that much money to park a car when there's no real public transportation to get to the stadium.

Snyder is to blame for the drunken fans at the stadium. Fans show up plastered because at $8 a beer inside the stadium one can drink a six pack in the parking lot for the same price. It's BYOB where you sneak the beer into the stadium in your gut.

With the constant commercials and promos being blasted over the PA system throughout the entire game it's hard to remember there's an actual football game taking place. So I'd much rather sit at home and watch the game where I'm not constantly bombarded by Snyder's marketing messages.

And keep this in mind, people are paying hundreds of dollars for this miserable experience. PT Barnum was right, there's a sucker born every minute.

Posted by: Snyder SUX! | January 9, 2007 3:51 PM

I'm confused on this part, Marc. First you say: "Will Snyder seek to ease fans' pain by serving up the only perfect fix for Package Delivery Field? Will he turn it into a shopping mall?" Then later, you say: "...essentially, Snyder would agree to pay for a new football stadium on the grounds of RFK Stadium in exchange for the right to develop some of the land around the stadium, presumably with some combination of retail, residential..."

Does this mean Snyder is proposing to turn the current FedEx Field into a shopping mall, or would a shopping mall be added to the RFK area with the new stadium, or both?

In addition, I thought the RFK area was deemed "undevelopable" for various reasons. Isn't that why the Nats are headed for Anacostia? Can someone shed some light? Thanks.

Posted by: criss | January 9, 2007 3:53 PM

Props to Paul. He's right -- the DC United are a good time outing.

There too, I'm not as much of a soccer fan as I used to be. (Though back in the day, I made it to a number of Washington Diplomates NASL games.) But I am told that DC United games offer a heck of a lot of fun for the buck.

Posted by: Hoyas, Nats, pt. 2 | January 9, 2007 3:55 PM

To me the irony is that to a great extent the stadium experience has been ruined by the effort to make games more TV-friendly. Name your sport, expect for soccer, and there are endless stoppages of play to accomodate commercials. In turn, teams find it necessary to fill in these gaps either by pumping in heavy metal music at 100+ decibels or by offering inane gimmicks that grate much more than they entertain.

Posted by: Jean-Paul | January 9, 2007 3:57 PM

I guess I was a protestor before my time. I spent much of my adult life in grad school penury, so shelling out money for pro sports wasn't much of an option. When I finally started earning a middle class income I got a package from the Caps for the last pre-strike season. Even with the package "discount" it worked out to better than $40 a ticket for nose-bleed seats. Then, after the first of my games, the Caps went on a fire sale of their best players, so instead of seeing Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra and Sergei Gonchar I got to see, um, well I forget their names, now.

Posted by: Protestor | January 9, 2007 4:23 PM

All of Dan Snyder's money can't purchase what has been lost. Once the Redskins were a TEAM, exhibiting a comradrary both on and off the field. Furnace face Kilmer's antics at the Toddle House, Riggins napping on the floor at a formal dinner. And who will ever forget Doug Williams and "the quarter"? The fun bunch? Kenny Houston's goal line stand? George Allen licking his fingers and his us against the world football mentality? Big Joe Jacoby leading the Hogs thru the line. This stuff made concrete move! Were are talking legends here. Those were moments in pro football that money can never recreate. Thanks for the memories guys. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!

Posted by: Slim | January 9, 2007 5:11 PM

Meanwhile...getting attendance at college hoops and football is contuing to expand. I long ago gave up pro sports. College football and college basketball is more enjoyable, more exciting to attend and usually a heckuva lot cheaper. I was offered Skins season tickets 2 years ago after being on the list for so long...I passed. I'll stick to Saturday ball.

Posted by: Don | January 9, 2007 5:16 PM

An evening at RFK for a Nats game runs me $100 for 2 people. An afternoon at FedEx for a Deadskins game would run me around $400.

Instead of going to three Deadskins games, I could pay for two round trip tickets to Hawaii. Ask me which I'd choose.

Posted by: Mister Methane | January 9, 2007 5:27 PM

You can blame Dan Snyder for a lot of things, but to blame him for some guy's car getting vandalized outside FedEx field is a bit out of line. That's called parking your car in Prince George's County in a place where the indigenous population will figure out it will be unattended for a long time.
As to fan behavior, what Girl Scout troop produced these people who are shocked by drunkeness and profanity at live sporting events? People have only been going to games and getting drunk and retarded since what, like the days of the ancient Romans? If anything, the modern era of shiny new arenas with hyper-expensive seats and concessions has produced more timid and temperate fans. I've never been to FedEx Field, but I have seen plenty of games at RFK, the Cap Center and Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium and fan behavior at all of those places was a lot more colorful than anything I've ever seen at the Verizon Center or Camden Yards.

Posted by: woody247 | January 9, 2007 7:00 PM

Well, you didn't write "ticket sales", Kat, you wrote "thickening crowds". The crowds have been stagnant or have decreased for years now. Even in such a lucrative lobbying environment...

Posted by: Mark | January 9, 2007 8:19 PM

Mark--

Thanks for the ESPN link but I don't think you really looked at it yourself. Go look at the statistics again. Exactly how many of the last six years did the attendance decline? The Redskins lead the NFL in attendance and they increased attendance every year from 2001 through 2005. In 2006 attendance fell by 800 from 77,000+.

Let's see: In 2005 the Redskins went to the playoffs, and in 2006 the Redskins were out of the playoffs after about the eighth week, and attendance only fell by 800. Would you characterize this performance -- since Snyder took over -- as thickening crowds or, like Marc, as "Thinning Crowds"?

With 78,000 in the stadium does it really look like the stadium experience has gotten so bad that no one is going anymore? It's like that bar that Yogi Berra mentioned: "It's gotten so crowded that no one goes there anymore."

Posted by: KK | January 10, 2007 2:18 PM

The concept of season tickets is an anachronism. Eventually all sports tickets will be up for sale on an auction site, such as StubHub, maximizing the profit for the owner.

Posted by: Tomcat | January 12, 2007 9:57 AM

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