The press release the Redskins issued after the Jan. 2 season-ending loss to the New York Giants contained the same ol’ bizarre boast: “The Redskins sold out a home game for [the] 358th consecutive time.” Alas, the Redskins’ definition of “sellout” doesn’t factor in, among other things, unsold club seats, unsold loge seats, or unsold standing room tickets.
And, as the 2011 campaign got underway, the notion that Redskin tickets remain a scarce commodity looked even less plausible. During the off season, huge portions of FedExField’s upper deck were removed, a contraction of as many as 10,000 seats. Spokesman Tony Wyllie initially said “party decks” would soon be installed. But no tickets were sold for those alleged sections. No artist’s renderings of the party decks emerged, either. By opening day, the charade was over. Instead, Wyllie said the stadium shrinkage was part of management’s desire to reduce parking lot congestion, to “create shorter concession lines, and to improve and enhance the entire fan experience.”
Meanwhile, face-value tickets are available for all home games on game days at the stadium box office; Redskins tickets for several home games this season were being dumped on StubHub for single-digit prices. But somehow, the streak officially carried on: After the home opener, the team’s PR office described the game as the 359th consecutive sellout.