SBD/July 28, 2014/Franchises

Redskins' New Lottery System For Training Camp Tickets Has Fans Upset

More than 6,000 fans attended the Redskins' practice on Sunday
To the "dismay of many fans, only about 12,000 people will be guaranteed a chance to attend" the Redskins' training camp Fan Appreciation Day -- which will be "about half the size of last year’s event," according to Meredith Newman of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. Tickets are "required to attend" this year’s Fan Appreciation Day and joint practices with the Patriots on Aug. 4-6. The team through a lottery system "picked about 3,000 people per day from an average of 18,000 applications per day." Each person picked "was given four tickets." The Redskins informed fans Saturday evening and Sunday morning "whether they received tickets, which were distributed through Ticketmaster." The lottery "did not let fans choose specific days to receive tickets." Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie said that the lottery system "was recommended by the NFL" and added that tickets "may not be resold and are nontransferable." He said that fans can "still come and be let in as long as there is room." The team wanted to "avoid a situation like last year’s Fan Appreciation Day, which overwhelmed the training facility with more than 25,000 fans attending" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 7/28). Newman noted about 6,668 fans attended yesterday's practice, "down from the 8,600 and 11,127 people who attended Friday and Saturday's practices, respectively." But the smaller crowd "was probably due to morning rain" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 7/28).

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE: In Jacksonville, Drew Dixon noted for the "first time in the history of the Jaguars, a pre-season practice is set for fans of the team at Bartram Trail High School stadium." While today's event "is free, the only way fans could get into the practice was to file for a registration" on the Jaguars' website. The "maximum number of reservations, 2,500, was reached Wednesday and the team’s administrators say they simply have no more reservations available and warn that fans without proof of reservations will not be allowed into the stadium." The growing concern "about an overflow of fans has become so profound, the Jaguars are urging fans without reservations to stay away from the practice event in St. Johns County" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 7/25). Meanwhile, THE MMQB's Peter King writes if there is "any question about America's appetite for pro football, consider this: The Broncos got 21,933 to watch an early-camp practice Sunday, and the Patriots got a total of 25,000 over the weekend for two practices" (MMQB.SI.com, 7/28).
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