I was actively hoping I wouldn’t be writing about Washington’s football team again tonight, but they seem to be unable to keep themselves out of the news. Which would be an admirable trait, if it were ever for something positive.
In a policy that the team has apparently in place for a number of years but was brought to light today by a Fox News producer, it costs $50 for non-season ticket holders to leave tickets for somebody at will call. Actually, it is worse than that. It costs $50 per envelope of tickets, and the team won’t even guarantee that they won’t lose your tickets. Here’s the policy:
The Will Call windows at FedExField are provided as a service for Washington Redskins Season Ticket Holders. A $50 fee per envelope must be paid by all non-season ticket holders seeking to leave tickets for pick-up at the FedExField Ticket Office. Season ticket holders must present their account number and a valid photo I.D. to drop off tickets licensed to their account without incurring the charge.
The Washington Redskins and FedExField Staff reserve the right to refuse to accept tickets for distribution from the Will Call windows.
All tickets left at the FedExField Will Call are left at-your-own-risk. FedExField is not responsible for any lost or stolen tickets. All decisions of the FedExField Staff concerning the Will Call Fees and Will Call windows are final.
This is a blatant money-grubbing, anti-fan policy that as far as anybody can tell no other team has in place. BuzzFeed reporter Lindsey Adler got on the horn with our old friend Tony Wyllie to seek clarification, and found that apparently the team is getting rid of the policy (good) and instead will simply no longer allow non-season ticket holders to use will call at all (oh).
As usual, Washington doesn’t give a shit about the actual fans that come to watch its football team. Will call isn’t an “inefficient process,” but a bare minimum core service the team should provide so fans can pick up the tickets they paid the team for. Some people don’t have easy access to printers or smart phones for their tickets, and some people like the souvenir of a physical ticket. Besides that, Ticketmaster usually charges outrageous “convenience” fees to print tickets at home or send a PDF to electronic devices, and will call can save a buck or two.
Earlier this year the team acknowledged that the game day experience sucked, and outlined a number of things done to supposedly improve it. They’re also desperate for more season ticket holders, as declining attendance forced the removal of several thousand seats this offseason. But by not offering a basic service that every other professional sports team offers free of charge, Washington is going about attracting new season ticket holders back-asswards. Instead of incentivizing fans to purchase season tickets, they’re discouraging normal people from deciding to see a game or two in the hopes that these people will say “screw it, I’m just going to buy season tickets.” Good luck with that!
Update (11:36 p.m.): Washington has updated their webpage to reflect the change to their will call policy. The second two paragraphs remain the same as quoted above, but the first paragraph now reads:
The Will Call windows at FedExField are provided as a service for Washington Redskins Season Ticket Holders. Season ticket holders must present their account number and a valid photo I.D. to drop off tickets.