On Christmas Eve of 2000, the Redskins hosted a terrible opponent in their final home game without any chance of achieving a winning record. That game, against the Arizona Cardinals, drew an announced crowd of just 65,711, which remains the second-smallest home crowd of the Daniel Snyder Era.
Christmas Eve is a tough sell for a losing team. I’ve already posted about the Craigslist ads, and the cheap StubHub seats for Saturday.
On Thursday morning, StubHub was offering 347 tickets for $20 or less. The lowest ticket was priced at just $9.
But nothing could compare to the offer Jim Lee had cooked up. Lee, a 51-year old from Laytonsville who has been a season-ticket holder since 2005, has religious and family obligations on Sunday, so he went the creative route. First, he posted an auction on eBay, offering a money-back guarantee for his two 200-level seats if the Redskins fail to win on Sunday.
I posted the item on my blog, and ESPN 980 discussed the offer on-air, and hundreds of people viewed his auction. But he received zero bids for the seats, which he priced at $150 total.
So Wednesday, Lee upped the deal, offering a 110 percent money-back guarantee if the Redskins don’t win. That means a Redskins fan would be guaranteed either of seeing a victory, or of making a $15 profit for watching a loss.
“They’re gonna win, the Redskins are gonna win,” said Lee, a lifetime fan who will attend a 4 p.m. mass on Saturday. “I’m just trying to stir up a little more interest if somebody wanted to roll the dice. The reality of it is, as it is, I’m gonna get stuck with the tickets. If somebody buys them and the Redskins lose, that’s only $165, that’s only an extra $15. It’s worth it to me.”
Lee admitted that, were the team in playoff contention, he and his usual traveling buddies might have considered making an exception to their family traditions. But they all agreed a few weeks ago to skip this particular outing, and he tried too late to donate them to the team’s charitable program. He even offered to drive the tickets to Redskins Park himself, but never heard back.
I asked how a buyer could be sure about the money-back guarantee; Lee pointed to his 199 instances of positive feedback on eBay.
“Other than that, you’re gonna have to trust me,” he said. “I AM gonna be at church that day, if that matters to anybody.”
Lee figured a Vikings fan would be his best bet, but with that moribund team sitting on two wins, he hadn’t gotten a single e-mail asking a question about his offer by Wednesday evening, much less a real bid.
“Heck, I’d go 120 [percent back] if you’re interested,” he suddenly told me. “Would you want to buy em?”
Sounded like a great offer. Still, I told him I’d have to pass. But please, check out the auction. Make it happen.