Radio Station Owned By Daniel Snyder Puts Redskins General Counsel On To Respond to Washington Post Story

September 4, 2009 – 7:30 am by Jimmy Shapiro

SRI continues to work in new writers.  This post is courtesy of Zach Krantz of WQAM in Miami.  

Is it a sign of the times, the economy, or a chance to make some serious cash? The Washington Redskins are not happy about the fact that Redskins general admission tickets are ending up in the hands of ticket brokers. It’s a violation of a Redskins long standing policy that tickets will be made directly available to the fans.  Brokers are gobbling up tickets to the beloved Redskins and selling them off at a higher price to fans, and maybe not just Redskins fans.  The issue is that ticket salespeople for the Skins are the ones violating these in house rules, not the brokers.

The sign of the times argument is…this is a big business. Ticket brokers are all over the country, buying up tickets and making a huge profit.  This is not “new” news to me or anyone. I know every team wants only their fans in the stands, but don’t they want butts in the seats regardless?  The Redskins have a waiting list and a big one, how can they not realize one “fan” is gobbling up 15 seats at the games?  Seems fishy to me, and at that point I would think this might not be just a big family coming to all the games.  They have corrected the general admission waiting list and now have offered those on the top of that list tickets to games.  The issue comes down to one thing, if you have salesmen breaking your rules, fire them.  Seems like an episode of 24 where there’s always a mole in the office.  The Redskins have sued more than 130 season ticket holders in recent years who tried to get out of their season ticket obligations, and the team often took some of those seats and sold them to brokers.  So who is at fault here?  In my business, we go by one motto, blame the salesperson!!!

Redskins General Counsel David Donovan joins ESPN 980 in DC (which is owned by Daniel Snyder) in response to the Washington Post article.

Donovan was asked about the Redskins policy:

“It’s the policy of the team, it’s the policy conveyed to the ticket salesmen. I think it’s now a policy know known by all the brokers as well”

Asked about the salesmen who sold the tickets and violated the policy:

“There were a couple of salesmen who knew there was a prohibition, who knew it was against company policy and who frankly took the easy way out to move some club seats by lumping in some general admission tickets with the club seats and passing them on to brokers.”

How many brokers are currently buying tickets from the team?

“The problem with a lot of these broker accounts is it’s very hard to identify them as brokers…what we had in fact done late this winter in able to discover all of this, was an audit where we went through our general admission ticket accounts and looked for ticket holders who had more then 10-15 tickets on the account and lived outside the geographic area.  Unfortunately, it’s not hard for these brokers to over the years find legitimate season tickets holders who have added tickets over the years and are prepared to sell some portion of those tickets to a broker, as long as it’s a legitimate local guy who has 6 or 8 tickets on the account we really don’t have any way of knowing if he is passing them onto to brokers.”

What was done by the salespeople that was wrong?

“In the course of selling premium seats, They sweetened the pot so do speak, for clubs seats by adding general admission tickets which we have 10 of thousands waiting for years to get their hands on.”

“All the tickets that we pulled from those broker accounts were sold on to folks on our general admission season ticket waiting list in the spring and early summer.”

Statement regarding the story about to run in the Post:

“The Washington Post they need to sell newspapers, god love them there circulation is down.  The story they’re going to run tomorrow is going to create an impression in a lot of peoples mind that we’re litigation happy and that we are out there suing our club seat and suite holders to some enormous degree. We go to enormous lengths to work with our fans to make new arrangements. The ones frankly we end up in litigation with are guys for example that write us a check, get the tickets for the suite, eat the food, drink the beer, check bounces, we get another check and that check bounces. What would you do, are we supposed to walk away from those?  These are multi-year agreements, 6, 8 10 years long sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and we don’t think there’s anything improper.”

Listen to David Donovan on ESPN Radio 980 in Washington DC with the Locker Room

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