Monday, June 22, 2009

Not. Happy.

By now you probably know that I'm a Redskins season ticket holder. This will be my sixth year as one. And it could be my last.

While the Redskins have done a better job in the off-season paying for free agents who are actually talented and not past their primes and drafting a beast in Orakpo, there has been some serious changes in the status of tickets and parking over at FedEx.

First, many veteran season ticket holders have become highly irritated based on new season ticket holders being moved to better sections and rows than those who are already there. Many have emailed the ticket office about the upgrade issues and the only reply has been that none of this is true. Yet, people keep coming on sites like ExtremeSkins and saying that the stories are correct. Here's the thread over on ExtremeSkins that discusses the topic. I have yet, to hear back from the ticket office about this.

Now comes the parking issue.......
I've already stated that the Blue lots are gone and that many of the Red and Blue lot people were moved up to the Green lots.

Here's the problem: The Redskins sent out to suite holders a new map of the parking and the Green lots have been drastically reduced to make way for the platinum parking lots (premium passes and passes for suite holders).
Here's the new map (thanks to Mark the Homer's post about this on ES)

Here's the old map (2008):



If you also note, all of the cash lot parking is gone on the new map. Will the Green lots be able to hold all of the new permit holders when it's size has been reduced. I also, don't fully understand the expansion of the platinum lots. Last year, when I walked from the Blue lot up Arena Dr. I always noticed that the Green lots were packed as were the Orange and Purple lots.......not so for the Platinum lots. Maybe it was just because they were at the front of the stadium, but they were always empty and this was usually an hour or so before the games that I noticed this.

Also, with the new map came some new rules:
  • Tailgating is permitted only in the last few rows of each lot. Tailgating is not permitted in the Platinum Lots.

  • All vehicles will be directed to specific spaces in each lot.

  • For the safety of all fans, please follow the direction of parking personnel and public safety officers.
So basically, tailgating has been drastically reduced and for those that do tailgate, they might not get to park close to their tailgate based on the whims of the parking personnel. Let me say this, there are some major, well coordinated tailgates that take place at FedEx, many of them are in the Green lots. It's not just a van full of people that want to grill some hot dogs and drink a few beers. Oh sure, there's plenty of that as well. And isn't that the whole point of the game day experience?

I don't tailgate for every game. It really depends on whose coming with me to the games and if they want to tailgate or if they just want to see the game. But if I want to tailgate it should be possible without having to get to FedEx at 5:30Am to grab the few spots available. Plus, I believe that 20-30% of people are there JUST FOR THE TAILGATES!! Dave McKenna of the City Paper even admits he goes to FedEx for the tailgates and then watches the game at home.

Oh and I didn't even mention that the Skins will be cutting off some driving lanes to be used for platinum pass holders only.......so they can get out of FedEx easier and quicker. So expect to be stuck in traffic longer when the game ends.

There has been no official comment from the Skins as of now (1:00PM) but if anyone from the ticket office or the Redskins organization would like to comment here or be interviewed feel free to drop me an email at the IIWII email.

Also, here's come coverage:
Anger over new parking (ES)
Mr. I's take
Sports Bog's take (WaPo)
Platinum Parking lanes (ES)
Fan petition to save tailgating (ES)
On-line fan petition (savetailgating.com)


Update: Redskins Blog has an official statement from the team here.
At least there was an update about the cash lots, as the team expects private lots to be able to cover the cash lots parkers.
And that tailgating is permitted in the stadium, but unless you're in the back you can only use your one parking space (thus it will be hard to do anything but drink a soda in the car.
Thank You for some clarification Redskins.

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