They asked and you answered.
Redskins President Bruce Allen announced this week some of the changes that will be coming to the game-day experience at FedEx Field, changes based on survey answers from surveying season ticket holders. The team announced it was moving the band back to the lower level and adding more employees to ease parking lot congestion. But there were two changes that stood out — mainly because they feel more like steps backward or distractions, rather than improvements.
“It’s no secret that [the fan experience] is a problem for this football team in this town. If nothing else, in the way of their image. As they work harder to improve fan experience, the complaints get louder and louder,” Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” said of the changes Tuesday. “I just don’t think they’re going to go away until the team wins, and then we’ll forget about the problems they’ve got.”
The loudest complaint from people going to NFL games is that the drunken buffoonery has become simply to much to handle. Whether in the parking lot, the bathroom, the concourse or the stands, dealing with intoxicated people is probably the single worst part of any football game at FedEx Field. So, what to do? Add cheaper beer, of course!
“The Bud Light Pavilion outside the stadium will introduce ‘happy hour pricing’ up to an hour prior to the start of games. There will also be ‘game day specials’ on some of the team’s new concession items,” Dan Steinberg reported Monday. The Dead Tree Crew might be defunct, but it doesn’t mean that people aren’t still actively getting too hammered at the stadium. Just enter “FedEx Field drunk” into your Google or Twitter search.
“If an $8 becomes a $7 beer, ‘oh honey, let’s get two!’ It feels like you want us to be there,” Danny Rouhier said Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan.
The other “upgrade” is even more quizzical. After the team promised free Wi-Fi for season ticket holders last year, now, the die-hards”will be the first to receive in-game player status updates, as well as news of team signings during free agency, trades, draft picks, and other transactions all season long via the Redskins Mobile App – even before the NFL or the media!”
— CBinDC (@CBJinDC) July 20, 2015
In attempting to release this news via its app, the team will be trying to beat Twitter. The NFL declined to comment to Pro Football Talk and ESPN on the Redskins’ new injury updates. But John Keim of ESPN points out that the NFL’s current guidelines don’t seem to preclude the Redskins from releasing injury updates to fans first.
An NFL spokesman declined comment on Washington’s plan, but there is nothing in the policy regarding injuries over who should get the information first. “Team personnel are responsible for reporting in-game injury information factually and accurately as soon as possible for the benefit of the network television audience and the other media covering our games,” the policy says. “To ensure fans in the stadium have access to the same information, these injury updates must also be posted on the stadium video boards, scoreboards or ribbon boards.”
What is the actual utility of this feature? Is it just an edge given to season ticket holders by knowing that their quarterback or running back has blown out an ankle mere seconds before it’s announced on Twitter? This is the team that three seasons ago was fined $20,000 by the NFL for not properly reporting an injury to the league itself. So, at best, season ticket holders get info about who will no longer be playing in a particular game. At worst, the team is risking running afoul of the league, and is boldly advertising that potential.
With training camp around the corner, and major questions at almost every position on the field, (including some believing that the quarterback situation is a disaster), Allen is talking about beer and Twitter facsimiles. Or, more simply put, the Redskins are right on schedule for the offseason.