Times have changed a bit...
By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 10, 2005; Page D05
Washington Redskins fans who wish to vault over the 75,000 names on the waiting list for season tickets to obtain prime seats at FedEx Field for the 2005 season can pay $7,500 to join the team's new Touchdown Club, the Redskins announced yesterday.
The Touchdown Club is Redskins owner Daniel Snyder's latest effort to increase the club's revenue. It is modeled after similar programs operated by the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins and includes mid-field lower bowl seats as well as a catered pregame party, pregame field passes, parking and a trip to a Redskins game in either Philadelphia or New York.
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"The purpose of this is to provide a variety of stadium amenities," said Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson. "We looked at the Eagles program, which is a success, and decided it could be adapted well for us."
The Touchdown Club follows the lower-priced TailGate Club, which the Redskins started last season. The TailGate Club was criticized by some fans as a money-making enterprise that didn't live up to its billing. Some complained it was not worth the price.
The TailGate Club includes a one-time initiation fee of $1,295, plus a $490 season pass for all 10 Redskins home games. In addition to lower-level seats, which are scattered throughout the lower bowl, TailGate Club members have access to a cordoned-off pavilion area just outside the stadium, where food is provided and fans can listen to music and watch wide-screen television.
Swanson said the 150 Touchdown Club seats were taken from roughly 400 lower-level seats set aside for corporate hospitality. Under that program, groups of 20 or so fans can rent a corporate tent for around $20,000 per game, including lower-level, mid-field seats, pregame and postgame catered parties and other amenities. Swanson said none of the seats was subtracted from the general admission pool.
Season ticket holder Alan Martin, a lawyer for the federal government, sits in the corner of the upper bowl and said he would love the opportunity to move lower. But he said the price of the Touchdown Club and TailGate Club is too high. "We like lower-level seats, but we're not going to pay for that kind of stuff," said Martin, contacted by telephone yesterday. "If I could get lower-level seats for a reasonable premium, I would take them. Dan [Snyder] is constantly thinking up gimmicks to make more money, but that's his business."
Snyder has expanded the capacity of FedEx Field to 91,665, the most in the NFL. There are about 66,500 general admission seats.