|(This could be FedEx during a game if the 'Skins keep losing at home and raise ticket prices. Photo: FedEx Al)|
The Redskins announced yesterday that for the 7th straight season they are not raising ticket prices for home games (ie. season ticket holders and the occasional person who can get single game tickets from the team). The Redskins also noted that they've only raised ticket prices three times since Dan Snyder's tenure as the Redskins owner (Ed. Note- while the article doesn't explicitly state this, the article mentions through 1999 when Dan Snyder bought the team from the estate of Jack Kent Cooke). The article mentions hard economic times on fans as being a factor for the decision. As a fan, I am happy to see that my ticket invoice shouldn't be going up this year (although I haven't heard anything about parking or FedEx S&H charges yet) but in reality my wife sums up my overall thoughts on this.
Me: Hey, they just announced that the ticket prices won't be raised again this year.
The Mrs: You'd hope so. What the hell would they be thinking to raise prices after playing like this?
So it got me thinking: How good have been the Redskins been at FedEx since 1999? Home field advantage is critical in the NFL with fan noise and playing surface being a factor in the games. So I looked up the records of the Redskins from 1999-2011* and here is what I found. Home record will be noted first with overall regular season record in parentheses.
1999: 7-2** (10-6)
2000: 4-4 (8-8)
2001: 4-4 (8-8)
2002: 5-3 (7-9)
2003: 4-4 (5-11)
2004: 3-5 (6-10)
2005: 6-2 (10-6)
2006: 3-5 (5-11)
2007: 5-3 (9-7)
2008: 4-4 (8-8)
2009: 3-5 (4-12)
2010: 2-6 (6-10)
2011: 2-6 (5-11)
So, since 1999 the Redskins have gone 52-53** at FedEx. During that time, the Redskins have only had 4 winning home records (1999, 2002, 2005, 2007) which I guess is not too much of a surprise since the Redskins have only had 3 winning seasons during that span (1999, 2005, 2007). Sadly, Mike Shanahan has the worst home coaching record of the coaches from 2001*** and on.
Steve Spurrier: 9-7 (.563)
Joe Gibbs: 17-15 (.531)
Marty Schottenheimer: 4-4 (.500)
Jim Zorn: 7-9 (.438)
Mike Shanahan: 4-12 (.250)
I still believe that if you're a team that wants to go to the playoffs, you have to have at minimal a 5-3 record (although I personally believe it should be 6-2). It looks like the Redskins have a long way to go to get back to that level of winning at home. The Redskins have had a tradition since the 70's and 80's of having a significant home field advantage and the Redskins must bring that back to DC. Until then, they better not even start to think about raising ticket prices.
Another raise in food, beverage and alcohol prices at the stadium wouldn't surprise me in the least though and this is why I'll stick to tailgating in the parking lot as much as possible.
* Statistics and Records found at pro-football-reference.com
** Redskins are 1-0 at FedEx in home playoff games (vs. Lions 1999), overall regular season record at FedEx since 1999 is 51-53.
*** Did not include Turner or Robiskie in this since Turner was coaching the 'Skins since 1993 and Robiskie coached for less than a year.