City Paper is not for tourists
Days after the game, Skins fans and players and columnists remain more concerned with Pittsburgh’s takeover of the grandstands on Monday than with the visiting team’s on-field dominance.
Everybody’s commented on the debacle by now, it seems, except the Redskins owner. It had to embarrass Dan Snyder to have the “Monday Night Football” crew and every sportstalk host in the country mock his stadium as a playground for out-of-towners.
But Snyder’s said nothing publicly about what happened or about what can be done to prevent a repeat humiliation at future games.
Contrast Snyder’s inaction with how Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has dealt with similar situations.
In April, as the pairings for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoff were about to be announced, Leonsis actually set up a robo-calling service to solicit local fans to buy tickets before the matchups were set.
His goal: To shut out fans of the Caps’ likely opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers, a group that travels as well as the Steelers flock. And, from a promotional standpoint, the system worked: The Verizon Center stands were a sea of nothing but red.
And in 2001, even though the Caps were having trouble selling out playoff games, Leonsis set up a buyer screening program that would prevent fans from zip codes outside the DC area from buying Caps/Penguins tickets online.
“Yeah, it’s serious. We’re trying to keep Penguins fans out of the building,” owner Ted Leonsis told the Washington Post at the time. “I want our fans at the games. Our team deserves a true seventh man.”
To be fair, it’s not true that Snyder has done nothing to impact the way outsiders get into his stadium. In 2006, he did sign a $5 million deal with Stubhub, the nation’s top internet scalping service, where many of the Steelers fans apparently got their tickets to Monday’s game.