- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Washington Redskins announced yesterday they won’t increase ticket prices for the 2005 season, meaning a franchise known for a variety of cost increases under owner Dan Snyder is venturing into “unusual” territory by holding the line for four straight years.

General-admission tickets remain priced from $44 to $79, their range since 2002. Of course, that doesn’t make Redskins tickets cheap; in the 2004 team marketing list, the club ranked second-most expensive in the 32-team NFL to the New England Patriots with an average price of $68.12.

Still, keeping prices static for so long isn’t the norm.

“It’s unusual that they would hold the line for four straight years,” consultant Marc Ganis of Chicago-based SportsCorp said yesterday. “Most teams raise prices annually or every other year. It’s unusual and obviously beneficial for the Redskins fans.”

It remains to be seen where the Redskins rank in the next team marketing list, due in the fall. As other NFL clubs rise, Washington’s average price actually will fall because of the controversial obstructed-view seats it started selling last year at $59 apiece.

The recent leveling of prices contrasts with rapid increases Snyder implemented after buying the team in 1999. During his first few years of ownership, average prices for non-luxury seats rose 29 percent, parking fees doubled and prices for many concession items jumped substantially. Most club seats and luxury boxes also more than doubled in price.

But the team, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1999, has moderated fans’ costs since. Said Redskins senior vice president Mitch Gershman in a statement: “We thank the fans for their continued loyalty.”

Meanwhile, the waiting list for tickets continues to grow. There now are 105,000 people on the waiting list, up from about 82,000 at this time last year.

Note — The Redskins allocated seven players to NFL Europe, notably cornerback Rufus Brown, who generated buzz among coaches last season as an undrafted rookie out of Florida State. Cornerback James Bethea, wide receiver Nathan Black, running back Dahrran Diedrick, linebacker Maurice Jones, offensive lineman Ben Nowland and linebacker Joe Tuipala also were allocated.

It is rare but not unprecedented for a player to participate in NFL Europe and then make an impact in the NFL the following fall. Last year defensive end Demetric Evans started eight games and registered 21/2 sacks for the Redskins after spending the spring in the developmental league.

Washington also signed offensive lineman/tight end Dan Goodspeed and defensive back Roosevelt Williams.

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