|That Sunday’s Redskins home opener against the Colts is still not sold out, just a few days before kickoff, is probably not surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention. Consider:
People don’t like FedEx Field. It’s too big, and too flavorless, and too isolated. The Redskins have been either mediocre or bad for most of the past 25 years. The home viewing experience keeps getting better. RedZone. Buying single-game tickets from the secondary market keeps getting easier, and more appealing. People don’t like FedEx Field. Plenty of local sports fans shelled out insane sums for Caps playoff tickets last spring. Little was expected of this Redskins team, which has few brand-name stars. The franchise cut back on ticket sales to brokers and admitted its waiting list was gone, opening up thousands of single-game seats this season. And a rainy September game against the very meh Colts isn’t exactly the sexiest draw. Plus, people don’t like FedEx Field.
Okay. But if it’s not surprising in the recent context, it’s still a kind of stunning in the franchise’s longer narrative arc, which led to Liz Clarke’s story in today’s paper. Or consider this, from Deadspin’s Chris Thompson, who grew up a fan:
I want to impress upon you just how unthinkable this kind of thing would’ve been as recently as, say, 1994, when the [bad] Norv Turner-led Skins finished 3-13, and scoring affordable tickets for home games at grimy old RFK Stadium still felt like winning the lottery. … [There was a time] when Skins home games legitimately were nearly impossible to attend if you didn’t have a generous friend or family member with spare season tickets.
I’ve been going to Redskins games for years, and one thing you could always count on — in addition to the Riggo jerseys and the profane T-shirts about the Cowboys and the unforgettable smells — was that the game would be announced as a sellout. The sellout streak, the team says, goes back for 50 years! Every preseason, regular season and playoff season in FedEx Field history, at least through 2017, was officially a sellout!
I’m guessing Sunday’s game will wind up being an official sellout, too. String a few more wins together, and we probably won’t be having this conversation on future Wednesdays. And there’s no shame in having a few thousand available tickets in the middle of the week, nothing to be embarrassed about. (By the way, the team also announced “new Cheetos stands featuring items inspired by the popular snack food.”)
It’s just clear that Washington’s relationship with its football team continues to … evolve, let’s say. So let me ask: Why do fewer people apparently want to watch Redskins games at FedEx Field now than at any time in the stadium’s history? Feel free to send your thoughts to @dcsportsbog or via email, and let’s do this again tomorrow.
Tonight on TV: A new feature! Game 3 of the Mystics-Storm series is on ESPN2 at 8. D.C. United hosts Minnesota at 7:30 on WJLA 24/7 News. And the Nats finish their series in Philly at 7 on MASN.