One of Dan Snyder‘s most devious brainchildren was born the moment he eliminated the cash option from all of the parking lots adjacent to FedExField and began allowing only parking pass holders into these lots.
Snyder moved all the team-owned cash lots all the way across the Beltway, which is not within reasonable walking distance of the stadium. So patrons who didn’t want to ride the legendarily inefficient shuttle bus system now must buy parking passes not only for the entire regular season but for the Skins’ two preseason games also.
Going to the pass gives Snyder months of interest on the parking money, but, more dastardly, means his customers are now paying the owner’s outrageous parking fees even for games they don’t attend. A huge portion of season ticket holders don’t go to the exhibition games, and for them the cheapest parking option went from at least $35 per game (nearly twice the NFL average, according to a recent ESPN report) to at least $43.75, a 25 percent increase.
But, not all the evil geniuses are on Snyder’s payroll: Scalpers have found a seam in his parking pass scheme, and they’re exploiting it. They’ve realized there’s no way for parking lot attendants to tell a used parking pass from an unused one, so the passes can be resold all day. Sure, drivers are supposed to keep the pass displayed on their car’s mirror all game long, but enforcing such a rule in the ocean of tailgaters would be impossible. There’s now a glut of Redskins game tickets—-they were being sold for face value at the stadium ticket window when I checked shortly before kickoff for Sunday’s season opener with Miami—-so most of the scalpers prowling the parking lots were asking to buy used parking passes, not game tickets.
And the secondary market on the parking passes looked robust. One particularly aggressive scalper rolled around the green lots two hours before game time on Rollerblades soliciting used passes and had a pile of them in his hands as he wheeled toward Redskins Road to offer access to the prime lots to folks who would have otherwise had to park far, far away from the stadium and get on a bus. Snyder wasn’t going to get a cut on these resales, either.