SBD/Issue 241/Franchises

Redskins Sold Tickets To Brokers Instead Of Fans On Wait List

Thousands of Redskins general admission tickets in recent years have been "sold to brokers, who resold them on the secondary market, often at higher-than-retail prices," according to a front-page piece by James Grimaldi of the WASHINGTON POST. The team, whose season-ticket waiting list "has 160,000 names on it," acknowledged that the "sales were made but said they were against team policy." Redskins General Counsel David Donovan said that the sales "involved about 15 ticket brokering companies," and he added that the employees involved "were disciplined." Redskins VP/PR Karl Swanson: "Somebody in the ticket office was doing something they shouldn't have been doing, and when it was discovered, it was all dealt with." Donovan said that Redskins Owner Dan Snyder was "unaware of sales to brokers," and when Snyder found out, Donovan said that Snyder "'was livid' and tried to have the accounts canceled immediately." Donovan said that "most of the brokers' contracts for bulk tickets were canceled." But some brokers "have been permitted to continue to buy hundreds of Redskins season tickets because they demanded that their contracts be honored and threatened legal action." Maryland-based ASC Ticket bought "at least 5,000 tickets for nearly $600,000 during the 2007 and 2008 seasons," including 1,690 general admission seats in the 100 sections of FedExField's lower bowl, "among the most coveted seats in the stadium." ASC Ticket Owner Jeff Greenberg said that he was "offered the lower bowl seats on the condition that he also buy club seats." Greenberg: "I was forced to buy club seats. There were strings attached to this." Greenberg's '07 arrangement "covered 1,360 individual tickets that he bought for about $60,000." ASC in '08 "bought 217 season tickets and 2,000 seats to individual games." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said that the league has "no policies governing sales on the secondary market" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/2).

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