In response to widespread criticism that the team provides terrible customer service to its fans, the Washington Redskins have rolled out a new strategy aimed to give fans some of the best access and benefits seen anywhere in the NFL.
A team press release apologized for the sub-par gameday experience at FedEx Field, and promised a series of new measures that will provide a better experience for everyone.
One of the more interesting wrinkles: Season-ticket holders will receive in-game notifications on player status updates letting them know whether injured athletes will be coming into the game. As the press release hypes, these alerts "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!"
"You took the time to tell us what you want," general manager Bruce Allen wrote in the release, according to the Washington Post. "We listened and will continue to listen to make our game day experience the best it can be."
Other features will include:
-- The team marching band's return to its previous location in the lower level of the stadium.
-- Increased staffers in parking lots and inside the stadium, helping control traffic and direct fans to where they're trying to go.
-- More engaging use of the stadium's video board.
-- The team's official radio broadcast will now be synced with TV broadcasts, so fans can watch the game while listening to the radio's play-by-play.
-- A loyalty program will let fans accumulate points and redeem those earnings for memorabilia and other prizes.
-- Pre-game drinks sold at the stadium's pavilion will feature discounted "happy hour" pricing.
By and large, it looks like a good effort to accommodate fans and give them what they want. If the team doesn't turn it around on the field, though, none of this will matter much -- Washington fans are restless, and their patience is wearing thin. Since beating Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI in January 1992, Washington has won just three playoff games with the most recent coming in the 2005 season.