Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Washington Redskins Sue Season Ticket Holders

Hi all, I've had some time off but am getting back into the swing of things with some news and ideas I figured I should comment and talk about.

Washington Redskins sue season ticket holders.

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.

In response:

"The Washington Redskins routinely works out payment plans and alternate arrangements with hundreds of ticket holders every year," Donovan [general counsel] said. "For every one we sue, I would guess we work out a deal with half a dozen."

The total judgement was for $66,000 or .00066% of star defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth's record contract of 100 million dollars over seven years. Clearly the organization is looking to stay afloat and hopefully break-even. I wonder if they're paying someone $60,000 a year to just look up all the unpaid season ticket accounts.

I won't even get into the morality of suing your own fans, but financially the move makes little sense. What are the chances that a 72 year old season ticket holder has grandchildren in the Washington area? And what are the chances that they are also Redskins fans (because of her!)and might want to take over the season tickets one day for their grandmother's beloved Redskins? What exactly are the chances that anyone in this lady's family wants to spend a dime on this team? Her friends? Anyone who reads this article?

The negative press was entirely forseeable and I would not be surprised to see the costs of suing your fans exceeding the money recovered from unpaid season subscriptions, and the complete loss of goodwill that the team had. I would encourage the Redskins front office to take a lesson in ethics, customer service, and public relations. Never take your fans for granted, nevermind bankrupting them.

The justification for suing these fans seems to be that they only sue one for every six. How about not suing them at all, cancelling their subscription or maybe relocating them to a less expensive seat and forgoing the cost due to the hard times? Why not appreciate the fan's dedication for years of time and money spent and pick them up for a season? I understand that giving tickets away for free is generally a bad idea but in this situation, there is a heckuvalot of good will to be gained from a program designed to help fans keep their seats, or keep them in the game.

Low employment rates and bad credit don't necessarily last forever. Good times happen again, and the Redskins will regret the day that they decided to take to court, the several hundred people who supported them through thick and thin.

It just reeks of coldness and greed.