Red­skins an­nounce end of sea­son ticket wait list

Team takes new tack, al­low­ing fans to make di­rect pur­chases

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS2 - BY MICHAEL PHILLIPS

Two of the new­est ex­ec­u­tives in the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins or­ga­ni­za­tion held a press brief­ing on Wed­nes­day, an­nounc­ing an over­haul in sea­son ticket prac­tices.

The big­gest rev­e­la­tion: The Red­skins are end­ing their famed sea­son ticket wait list, which at one point spanned decades.

Brian Lafem­ina, the team’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said the way busi­ness is done in 2018 isn’t con­ducive to the wait-list model, with fans able to ac­cess tick­ets on the se­condary mar­ket in ways they couldn’t in past decades.

Lafem­ina said let­ting fans know they can now buy tick­ets di­rect from the team is an im­por­tant part of the new ap­proach.

“I think this is an in­dus­try­wide trend,” he said. “Wait lists were some­thing that were a great idea and a great tool for a long time. I’ve got­ten to work for the last eight years at the league office with every sin­gle club in the NFL. Tech­nol­ogy has dis­rupted the old sea­son ticket model con­sid­er­ably. It used to be the only way to get into the sta­dium was to be a sea­son ticket mem­ber.

“Now there are so many dif­fer­ent ways to get into a build­ing and buy a ticket.”

Sea­son ticket hold­ers will also be re­warded with dis­counts on food and drink, free mo­bile ac­cess to the NFL Red­Zone chan­nel and other events.

Jake Bye, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of con­sumer sales and mar­ket­ing, and Lafem­ina joined the or­ga­ni­za­tion in the past three months from other high-pro­file jobs.

Bye helped co­or­di­nate the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los An­ge­les, while Lafem­ina worked at the NFL office. Both said they be­lieve in the Red­skins and their po­ten­tial.

“I came here be­cause I think this is one of the big­gest sleep­ing giants of an or­ga­ni­za­tion in any league, and es­pe­cially our league,” Lafem­ina said. “I think this is, frankly, the best op­por­tu­nity in sports.”

Lafem­ina said the long-term goal is to have a “re­la­tion­ship” with the fans, to an­tic­i­pate what they’ll want in a game­day ex­pe­ri­ence and be bet­ter able to de­liver it. He com­pared what the Red­skins want to do with Ama­zon, which can an­tic­i­pate other prod­ucts a cus­tomer would like to pur­chase.

Bye said the Red­skins an­tic­i­pate sell­ing sin­gle-game and group tick­ets later this sum­mer, but the low­est price would al­ways be given to sea­son ticket hold­ers.

“I worked for the New York Knicks for a long time, and for a long time peo­ple thought you couldn’t buy a ticket,” Lafem­ina said. “One of the things we want to do is make sure Red­skins fans know, you can buy a sea­son ticket.”



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