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Art

Correcting the fan interest problem

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I attempt a standalone thread here because this seems like a reasonably different conversation with a concept not previously shared.

The Redskins are obviously suffering a decline in fan interest based purely on the merit of being largely uninteresting and sorry for far too long.    Once the largest, and full stadium in the NFL, is chopped up and closed off with tarps.   Opposing fans relax in our stadium.   This happens when the home team sucks.   I recall attending a game in the early 90s in New England when the Skins were great and the Pats sucked.   It was the smallest crowd of the NFL year with just under 22,000 fans in the stadium.  Most of us were Skins fans.

And the group I was at the game with literally sang Hail to the Redskins the entire game.   We were on the Boston news that night.   The sorry state of the Pats.   That corrected, as our situation corrects, with a winning organization.   The Redskins problems with fans obviously need wins.   But more importantly, even in losing, there are ways to build community loyalty and generational adoration.   Given we have generations now who do not know what I lived through in the 80s, you want to do this.

So, to Dan Snyder I propose the following sweeping changes and embrace anyone in agreement to say so and I'll make someone at the Park read it :).

1. Every home game, partner with a DMV school district.   Just one.   Give any student tickets for themselves and their family.

 

2. Put the people in an untarped section or two.

 

3. Give these people free parking.   (In fact, I'd probably make all parking free in RalJon until you win again as a gesture).

4. Give each person holding these tickets $20 of free concessions, but not alcohol due to legal issues.

5. Give the STUDENT holding the ticket a free Redskins jersey in the team store.

6. Arrange communication between the student and the chosen player somehow.   E-mail, regular mail, something.   Connect the fan to the player.

7.Give these people pre-game sideline access and maybe post-game tunnel access.

Start here.   This is a loss of money initially.   But you build brand loyalty reaching young kids with an experience many may be priced out of and almost ALL would be uninterested in given the state of the team.   I mean, I'm not eager to go to games and blow a couple hundred when we suck and I still actually like the team.

Doing something like this puts young people in the stands and gives them a memory.   It puts your gear in schools.   It puts them in a position to lead the next generation of fans to stay true and hopefully we get good again one day.  

Snyder is a businessman but he's a BAD businessman in that he'll see this and likely do math in his head as to the costs.   But the monetary downstream benefit is immense.   Over time and commitment to the fans you need to thrive with.   You can always recoup when you are good as fans will pay whatever is necessary to enjoy winning.   In sustained bouts of sucking, though, you have to be willing to dig into your pocket.   Spend a few million on the people you need to spend many more millions on you.   And the investment will pay off over time.

These are my thoughts.   And I'm sticking to them :).

Edited by Art
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4 minutes ago, SkinFanInMinn said:

I hear the Redskins might have some positions open soon.  You available?  

 

I know what Snyder pays and both sadly and to my great happiness, he can't afford me :).

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Living in the area, I can say it's not jus because the team sucks, the experience does as well.  You can get in there for less then $20 and folks still wont go, I had an entire row to myself for the Jets game.

 

Getting a shuttle between the two closests metro stations and the stadium would be huge for folks like my dad that dont want to do that walk anymore, hes getting older, and be easier for folks with little kids. Make it free, metro used to have one, I dont know if it was free.

 

Snyder needs to offer to build the stadium in DC with his own money.  I'll take him more seriously about trying to make up for the damage hes done.  Majority in DC want redskins back in DC, majority in DC dont want public funds goin to stadium.  

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3 minutes ago, Renegade7 said:

Living in the area, I can say it's not jus because the team sucks, the experience does as well.  You can get in there for less then $20 and folks still wont go, I had an entire row to myself for the Jets game.

 

Getting a shuttle between the two closests metro stations and the stadium would be huge for folks like my dad that dont want to do that walk anymore, hes getting older, and be easier for folks with little kids. Make it free, metro used to have one, I dont know if it was free.

 

Snyder needs to offer to build the stadium in DC with his own money.  I'll take him more seriously about trying to make up for the damage hes done.  Majority in DC want redskins back in DC, majority in DC dont want public funds goin to stadium.  


Some state or District government is paying for the Redskins stadium.   Or the team moves.   You can't keep an NFL team if you're not all in on it with area funding in this day and age at least.   That could change.   But, yes, I understand the experience isn't awesome.   But I was in that stadium and have experienced some good moments.   So it can be ok when we don't suck :).   It always was the worst stadium in the league though.   JKC loved the Meadowlands.   Super dumb.

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I like your list, Art. Personally, I think the Redskins have two significant problems when it comes to declining fan interest:

 

1) They haven't been winning a lot. Believe it or not though, this is the lesser problem. During the Gruden years, we were decidedly below average, but competitive. Most seasons, it came down to the last game as to whether the team would make the playoffs or not. So, the problem isn't that we sucked. Sucking isn't usually the deciding factor. Heck, the Browns have sucked forever and have pretty good attendance. The Cubs sucked for a hundred years and maintained a strong fanbase. Therefore, I contend that the bigger problem is number 2.

 

2. The Redskins under Allen became an unlikable team. All the PR gaffes, the decisions that insulted fans or took them for granted, the hiring of controversial free agents... even the name change controversy wore on fans. The Redskins became a hard team to root for because they were a hard team to like. Now, I think those of us who love this team see light at the end of the tunnel (aack! cliche alert) because the current Redskins' core seems made up of good guys.  We don't have a bunch of players getting into DUIs or altercations in public or are dragging the Redskins' name in the mud. In fact, most of the unlikability had to do with people outside the player roster.The ones badmouthing people on the way out looked to come from the front office, coaching side or administration. For example, it wasn't the players that made fans shudder during the Shanny and Redskins divorce. It was the coach and the front office who did their best to burn eveyr bridge and make it as ugly and uncomfortable as possible. Later on, Allen never should have published that letter about Cousins to try to demonstrate how it was Cousins' fault that negotiations failed. More recently, there was no need to try to justify Gruden's firing, by putting out that drunk video of him. I'm sure each of us could come up with a dozen other examples.

 

I think this backstabbing, this ugliness, more than the wins and losses... even more than the bad deals and dumb trades are why people are relieved that Allen is out the door. Redskins fans want to like their team. We want the team to win too. We want them to win a lot.  But we also want to feel good about the team we root for.

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13 minutes ago, Art said:


Some state or District government is paying for the Redskins stadium.   Or the team moves.   You can't keep an NFL team if you're not all in on it with area funding in this day and age at least.   That could change.   But, yes, I understand the experience isn't awesome.   But I was in that stadium and have experienced some good moments.   So it can be ok when we don't suck :).   It always was the worst stadium in the league though.   JKC loved the Meadowlands.   Super dumb.

 

NFL wont approve the moving of a founding franchise from leaving the #6 market in country because they dont want to help him pay for a stadium.  If he moves, hes not serious about winning us back, all three DMV are heading towards no on public funds if they havent already.  DC council and populace is hard no right now, if he really wants a stadium on RFK site, hes going to bend.

 

Edit: whens last time you been to FedEx?  I get where you coming from, jus gotta say, things are different jus in the last year or two.  This is going to take a lot of work. A lot of work.

Edited by Renegade7

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13 minutes ago, Burgold said:

 

I think this backstabbing, this ugliness, more than the wins and losses... even more than the bad deals and dumb trades are why people are relieved that Allen is out the door. Redskins fans want to like their team. We want the team to win too. We want them to win a lot.  But we also want to feel good about the team we root for.

 

We are letting Snyder off way way way too easy. Allen was originally brought in as a savior because Snyder had driven the reputation of the team so far into the mud. I do think that Allen and Snyder were in a weird co-dependent relationship that made all the pre-existing problems worse.

 

But it was a full-scale fan revolt that led to Shanahan/Allen in the first place.

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7 minutes ago, Lombardi's_kid_brother said:

 

We are letting Snyder off way way way too easy. Allen was originally brought in as a savior because Snyder had driven the reputation of the team so far into the mud. I do think that Allen and Snyder were in a weird co-dependent relationship that made all the pre-existing problems worse.

 

But it was a full-scale fan revolt that led to Shanahan/Allen in the first place.

Maybe. Snyder was blamed for salary cap hell and treating his team like a fantasy football owner. He had some gaffes in terms of team likability, Haynesworth and charging for training camp, but most of the reason people didn't like him wasn't because of team ugliness, but team ineffectiveness.

 

I am fully willing to believe that Snyder is a rat, too, but the face of the team when Allen joined was much meaner, much dirtier than it was pre-Allen. Folks like Norv, Marty, Gibbs, and Cerrato left the team with no dirty laundry thrown out. Even Zorn was let go with some degree of grace.

 

The departures that happened under Allen's regime all tried to make the player or coach leaving look like a bad guy. Snyder didn't even try to do that to Deion.

Edited by Burgold
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1 minute ago, Burgold said:

Maybe. Snyder was blamed for salary cap hell and treating his team like a fantasy football owner. He had some gaffes in terms of team likability, Haynesworth and charging for training camp, but most of the reason people didn't like him wasn't because of team ugliness, but team ineffectiveness.

 

I am fully willing to believe that Snyder is a rat, too, but the face of the team when Allen joined was much meaner, much dirtier than it was pre-Allen.

 

I'll accept that, I guess. But they were trying to shut down churches from charging for parking and **** before Allen too.

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Because I adopted my kids, I'm eligible to receive services through Depelchin. We get offered tickets to stuff all the time. Sometimes we use them; sometimes we don't. It doesn't really build any sort of loyalty with my kids as I see it.

 

I don't think it's 1952 and I don't think modern kids are Billy Crystal. No one is going to walk into Yankee Stadium, see the grass, watch Mickey sock a dinger, and become a die-hard fan until death.

 

Sitting in the upper deck at Fed Ex is certainly not going to create an experience that forges a bond for life.

 

Honestly, I would assume this plan is something an NFL franchise would be doing anyway. Maybe not the sideline passes and $100 jerseys but I have to imagine Boys and Girls clubs and such get tickets. I would hope so at least.

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6 hours ago, Art said:


Some state or District government is paying for the Redskins stadium.   Or the team moves.  

All the more reason not to do it.

If Snyder moves the team, the NFL will step in and bring us a new franchise. Most likely, we get the Chargers.

 

Anything is better than Dannyboy.

 

And I don't think Dannyboy will move because he can't squeeze a fanbase like he has here if fans aren't struggling with addiction to nostalgia.

 

20 years in, and he still has not realized priority one should be hiring a QUALIFIED GM.

 

Rivera picking his own personnel guys and getting total control is the same disastrous structure that failed under Schotferbrains, Gibbs, and Lobsterman.

Edited by Riggo-toni
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46 minutes ago, Renegade7 said:

 

NFL wont approve the moving of a founding franchise from leaving the #6 market in country because they dont want to help him pay for a stadium.  If he moves, hes not serious about winning us back, all three DMV are heading towards no on public funds if they havent already.  DC council and populace is hard no right now, if he really wants a stadium on RFK site, hes going to bend.

 

Edit: whens last time you been to FedEx?  I get where you coming from, jus gotta say, things are different jus in the last year or two.  This is going to take a lot of work. A lot of work.

 

I went to the Packers game last year.   Too many Packers fans to be sure, but the team was doing well, the game was entertaining and we won.   That was before Smith got hurt.   The experience was fine, though certainly not ideal given the visitors :).   And you are incorrect if you think the NFL will stop a team from moving from the No. 6 market when they have never stopped a team from leaving the No. 1 market.   It hurts every other owner if Snyder can't extract from one of three states the same types of deals other states give.   So you're kidding yourself if you think someone isn't paying for it and it won't be Snyder.   Now, is it possible people put on a happy face and Snyder announces self funding and then the area passes a 3 percent "entertainment" tax that goes to the team?   Sure.   But he'll get public funding.   For sure.   Unless it doesn't happen before the league popularity and leverage decreases, which is a serious possibility in that such a thing is already happening.

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1 hour ago, Art said:

I attempt a standalone thread here because this seems like a reasonably different conversation with a concept not previously shared.

The Redskins are obviously suffering a decline in fan interest based purely on the merit of being largely uninteresting and sorry for far too long.    Once the largest, and full stadium in the NFL, is chopped up and closed off with tarps.   Opposing fans relax in our stadium.   This happens when the home team sucks.   I recall attending a game in the early 90s in New England when the Skins were great and the Pats sucked.   It was the smallest crowd of the NFL year with just under 22,000 fans in the stadium.  Most of us were Skins fans.

And the group I was at the game with literally sang Hail to the Redskins the entire game.   We were on the Boston news that night.   The sorry state of the Pats.   That corrected, as our situation corrects, with a winning organization.   The Redskins problems with fans obviously need wins.   But more importantly, even in losing, there are ways to build community loyalty and generational adoration.   Given we have generations now who do not know what I lived through in the 80s, you want to do this.

So, to Dan Snyder I propose the following sweeping changes and embrace anyone in agreement to say so and I'll make someone at the Park read it :).

1. Every home game, partner with a DMV school district.   Just one.   Give any student tickets for themselves and their family.

 

2. Put the people in an untarped section or two.

 

3. Give these people free parking.   (In fact, I'd probably make all parking free in RalJon until you win again as a gesture).

4. Give each person holding these tickets $20 of free concessions, but not alcohol due to legal issues.

5. Give the STUDENT holding the ticket a free Redskins jersey in the team store.

6. Arrange communication between the student and the chosen player somehow.   E-mail, regular mail, something.   Connect the fan to the player.

7.Give these people pre-game sideline access and maybe post-game tunnel access.

Start here.   This is a loss of money initially.   But you build brand loyalty reaching young kids with an experience many may be priced out of and almost ALL would be uninterested in given the state of the team.   I mean, I'm not eager to go to games and blow a couple hundred when we suck and I still actually like the team.

Doing something like this puts young people in the stands and gives them a memory.   It puts your gear in schools.   It puts them in a position to lead the next generation of fans to stay true and hopefully we get good again one day.  

Snyder is a businessman but he's a BAD businessman in that he'll see this and likely do math in his head as to the costs.   But the monetary downstream benefit is immense.   Over time and commitment to the fans you need to thrive with.   You can always recoup when you are good as fans will pay whatever is necessary to enjoy winning.   In sustained bouts of sucking, though, you have to be willing to dig into your pocket.   Spend a few million on the people you need to spend many more millions on you.   And the investment will pay off over time.

These are my thoughts.   And I'm sticking to them :).

always nice to hear from you and some great ideas.  

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1 hour ago, Renegade7 said:

Snyder needs to offer to build the stadium in DC with his own money.  I'll take him more seriously about trying to make up for the damage hes done.  Majority in DC want redskins back in DC, majority in DC dont want public funds goin to stadium.  

 

It's not that simple because it isn't the city's land to give/lease (if we're talking RFK).  And there'd be a series of approvals (which have gotten nowhere to date) that need to happen for it to be feasible.  It's the exact reason Dan has no current use for Bruce.  They're no closer to a new stadium now, than they were 5 years ago.  

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27 minutes ago, Art said:

 

I went to the Packers game last year.   Too many Packers fans to be sure, but the team was doing well, the game was entertaining and we won.   That was before Smith got hurt.   The experience was fine, though certainly not ideal given the visitors :).   And you are incorrect if you think the NFL will stop a team from moving from the No. 6 market when they have never stopped a team from leaving the No. 1 market.   It hurts every other owner if Snyder can't extract from one of three states the same types of deals other states give.   So you're kidding yourself if you think someone isn't paying for it and it won't be Snyder.   Now, is it possible people put on a happy face and Snyder announces self funding and then the area passes a 3 percent "entertainment" tax that goes to the team?   Sure.   But he'll get public funding.   For sure.   Unless it doesn't happen before the league popularity and leverage decreases, which is a serious possibility in that such a thing is already happening.

 

I'm assuming you mean #2 market, because #1 has always been New York and giants and jets are still there.

 

LA is different animal if that's what you meant, historically with several other teams in California at the same time. LA jus had a team in the superbowl and they dont care, that's why they about to lose the Chargers.

 

Ya, I went to Colts game and noticed a complete 180 from total take over boy eagles in last years finale.  Ever sense then team in the area has been desperate to get fans in with one takeover after the other.

 

How does this hurt the other owners if Snyder cant get a fan base that still despises him from helping him pay for the stadium?  Hes also losing the negotiations to get the DC site, if his goal is to get there, he cant treat us like LA, we arent LA.

Edited by Renegade7

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6 minutes ago, megared said:

 

It's not that simple because it isn't the city's land to give/lease (if we're talking RFK).  And there'd be a series of approvals (which have gotten nowhere to date) that need to happen for it to be feasible.  It's the exact reason Dan has no current use for Bruce.  They're no closer to a new stadium now, than they were 5 years ago.  

 

Why I suggest the ultimate olive leaf to entice DC government to assist in working with federal government.  Right now Feds can care less and DC has a line in the sand. He needs to come better or this isnt going to happen, they'll end up in NOVA, the backlash against National Habor site they close to ruling out Maryland.

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One thing that would help is for Dan to not be such a coward by hiding behind a henchman and be accountable for the actions of the franchise, maybe he wouldnt do so much dumb ****.

 

Oh and stop being buddy buddy with Jerry Jones and look him in the eye, tell him he is going down.

Edited by Itoolu

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Just now, Renegade7 said:

Why I suggest the ultimate olive leaf to entice DC government to assist in working with federal government.  Right now Feds can care less and DC has a line in the sand. He needs to come better or this isnt going to happen, they'll end up in NOVA, the backlash against National Habor site they close to ruling out Maryland.

 

Congress has shut down Dan/Bruce twice in the past two years when he's tried to attach riders related to the RFK site in the budget.  They've said they see giving the land to the city, to in turn gift to a billionaire as a federal taxpayer subsidy.  

 

But it's already understood that the stadium wouldn't come from public funds.  Right now they don't even have the leverage to gain any concessions.  Virginia isn't financing anything after still feeling burned by Richmond.  MD is of the position that they should stay in Landover.  DC only really has the mayor, and their biggest advocate on the Council is fighting for his political life.   

 

Much of this can be solved by winning.  But right now it's looking like all paths lead to Dulles.  

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1 minute ago, megared said:

 

Congress has shut down Dan/Bruce twice in the past two years when he's tried to attach riders related to the RFK site in the budget.  They've said they see giving the land to the city, to in turn gift to a billionaire as a federal taxpayer subsidy.  

 

But it's already understood that the stadium wouldn't come from public funds.  Right now they don't even have the leverage to gain any concessions.  Virginia isn't financing anything after still feeling burned by Richmond.  MD is of the position that they should stay in Landover.  DC only really has the mayor, and their biggest advocate on the Council is fighting for his political life.   

 

Much of this can be solved by winning.  But right now it's looking like all paths lead to Dulles.  

 

This is bigger then whether it becomes a stadium, DC and Norton are taking the route that this land should go to DC and DC decide what to do with it, not Congress.  Saying again, Snyder needs to come out the box on this and reach out in support of DC being a state plus offer to pay for it himself to get DC Council on his side and change some votes in Congress.

 

I dont believe theres more then a minority in Congress that wants him to change the name, but the last time he tried it was blocked because it was the wrong bill to add that to and Congress again wants too much power over what goes on in DC.  He needs to get out his high castle and fight tooth and nail for the city he says he wants to being a championship to, or like you said, pray he can get a stadium all the way out in Loudon or something.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/redskins-bid-for-rfk-stadium-land-dealt-blow-in-last-weeks-federal-spending-bill/2019/12/21/8cc21c02-242d-11ea-86f3-3b5019d451db_story.html

 

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1 hour ago, Art said:

But, yes, I understand the experience isn't awesome.   But I was in that stadium and have experienced some good moments.   So it can be ok when we don't suck :).   It always was the worst stadium in the league though.   JKC loved the Meadowlands.   Super dumb.

The stadium was put up too quickly, looks ugly on the outside, and isn't in the best location. And its easy to argue today that its too big, but at the time it was built we were only five years removed from the Super Bowl, and the demand was there. Once inside, its not a bad place to see a game. When it opened, you had a fun kids-centric area outside which was a fun area to hang out pregame, you had the PA guy brought over from RFK (Phil Hochberg), and the band played a greater role in the game which made it a cool atmosphere. But Dan took over and got rid of the kids area, got rid of Hochberg and brought in carnival barker Mark Kessler, dialed up the music volume, and installed the stupid dream seats which devalued the 100-level experience.

 

I think your ideas centering around the school districts are good. And yes, decreasing ticket prices (as DCBarno suggested on Twitter) probably won't happen, but please at least cut parking prices and cut concession prices, like the Ravens and Falcons have done. 

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I don't really buy the stadium argument because RFK was a dump. It was, however, a dump that was fun as anything. But parking, accessability, seating, viewlines, the plubing, number of people that could fit in... There was a reason the Redskins left. Still, anyone who went there in the '80's put all that aside because the team was so good, the atmosphere with the band and fans was so fun, and the team was filled with people like Gibbs, Monk, and even the rascals like Riggo were lovable and not really bad.

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2 hours ago, Art said:

Start here.   This is a loss of money initially.   But you build brand loyalty reaching young kids with an experience many may be priced out of and almost ALL would be uninterested in given the state of the team.   I mean, I'm not eager to go to games and blow a couple hundred when we suck and I still actually like the team.

Doing something like this puts young people in the stands and gives them a memory.   It puts your gear in schools.   It puts them in a position to lead the next generation of fans to stay true and hopefully we get good again one day.  

These are my thoughts.   And I'm sticking to them :).

You're absolutely spot on. Going after the younger generation is how you build long term loyalty.

 

My "soccer" team Norwich City were in a similar position in the late 90s. Having been 3rd in the Premier League and beaten Bayern Munich in the UEFA cup in the early 90s, they were relegated to the second tier within 4 years of that and attendances dropped to 16,000 (stadium capacity 26,000 at the time). They had a really targetted campaign going after the younger generation - they had a kids members club which got treats ocassionally like playing on the training pitch. They had a 2 season long "Kids for a quid" scheme whereby adult tickets were priced normally but child tickets were £1 (quid means pound for those unfamiliar with our UK slang). Fast forward 15 years - little success on the field (One second tier championship and one season in the premier league ending in swift relegation back to second tier) in the meantime and we were eventually relegated to the third tier.... 8,600 is the average attendance in that league. We had a sold out 27,000 seat stadium every week. We have sold out every week for 10 years now.

 

I know that's a bit of a long tangent, but TL:DR = Cheap kids tickets and all the other schemes you mention are really effective, proven strategies and would absolutely work for the Skins. I think $1 kids tickets for the Skins would be incredible for the fanbase.

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