The Redskins, Tickets and Brokers

Photo courtesy of
‘Phat Wad, Break me off some’
courtesy of ‘Refracted Momentsâ�¢’

The Redskins find themselves in an interesting situation. They have a reported 160,000+ wait list for season tickets, and a number of people defaulting on multi-year season ticket contracts. It appears that unlike other area professional sports teams, the Redskins are suing those who break those commitments for the full amount of of the contract, and then selling the tickets to brokers.

The Snyder-lead Redskins aren’t suing everyone who breaks the contracts, just many of them. Why they’re not, instead, just breaking the contract and going to the first name on that 160,000 person waiting list? That I can’t tell you. But I can delve into some of the politics of being a ticket broker. Let’s talk about that for a second.

We turned to TeamOneTickets, an Arizona-based ticket broker, for answers about how all of this worked. Ticket brokers like Team One are part of the new ticket ecosystem, seeking to provide hard to find tickets to a willing marketplace. They’re also the target of a lot of ire in the world, especially if by “the world” you mean “fans of Hannah Montana.” They turn face value seats into their real world equivalent, with the marketplace setting the price of the seats.

But how do they get the seats to begin with, especially with a 160,000 person list? They buy them. Direct from the Skins. “Many of these ticket sales reps work on some sort of commission so it behooves them to do what the Redskins allege and help a broker create multiple accounts in order to purchase many tickets. [We’ve] encountered this with quite a few sports teams across the country where a sales rep has told us there is a per account limit on tickets but they’ll happily split it up onto many accounts if we just give them a list of names we want to use.” Thus, the Post’s reporting is fairly accurate in terms of how this went down: ticket reps got lazy. But why are the Skins getting such a pass from everyone on this? Why is there no outrage?

They’re suing some of their fans who’ve hit hard times, bilking the long line of replacement potential holders in favor of selling the seats at market value and not face value, and turning it all into a big money pile for the team. Can you blame them? Well, yeah, you can, actually. With all that money, have they provided a quality product for the area? Hard to say, I’ve not been willing to pay the exorbitant fees to get into Fedex Field for a Redskins game, but their record over the last fifteen years is pretty atrocious.

So, Mr. Snyder, what about that long list? Is it worth anything?

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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