Well, the lockout is now all but over, barring a few votes for both players and owners. Since it should only be a matter of time until training camp starts on December 9, here are some things the Wizards should consider doing for the fans (for both season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders) to minimize any backlash from the length of the work stoppage.
1. The Wizards should hold its 2nd Midnight Madness Training Camp for the fans.
Last year, we were the first team to even hold such an event at George Mason University and literally starting this at midnight. Most teams held their start of training camp at their training facilities like the Knicks, at a college without a madness like the Sixers, or at a military installation like the Heat. But we decided to be truly innovative and it was a hit for the fans.
Should this be at George Mason or at Verizon Center? That's up to the logistical crews, but either way, holding such an event, even after a work stoppage and without some notable free agents like Nick Young is a good thing.
Another plus about the Wizards is that we have most of our guys back this year, barring trades, so we have a roster of guys to use, unlike some other teams.
2. The Wizards should hold a contest where 33 fans can win free courtside seats and an ULTIMATE VIP experience.
They need to Rock the Red, and Unleash the Fury with those DC hands swatting a basketball like JaVale McGee and those Monumental Balls. This can be done through a video contest or pictures/letters. The winners get the courtside seats, chauffeured there by limo, have dinner with Ted, and a full autograph session and pics with the team afterward. The Wizards ticket site claims that all the owner seats are gone so I had to "downgrade" to Courtside, but that's still a hell of a deal. If Ted is too busy for the dinner on game day, then on an off day, John Wall and Ted will take you out to lunch or dinner and you can decide between lobster or filet mignon at Mortons, Ruth's Chris, or McCormick and Schmick's.
3. Monumental Sports should consider implementing an enterprise wide rewards program that goes beyond just one team.
Monumental Sports is more than just our NBA team. It also includes the Caps, Mystics, Georgetown basketball, and maybe even Mason basketball considering that Monumental runs the Patriot Center. To that end, there should be a program where Wizards STH's (as well as the other teams) should be rewarded and be able to use some tokens for other Monumental Sports events not just with the original team, or maybe for additional discounts, etc. To prevent folks from just buying tickets to try to game the system, it must be done in a way that rewards STH's and other planholders who buy tickets AND also go to nearly all the games. This can be a way to boost actual attendance (not just paid seats). In fact, this is the biggest reward that ownership could give to the the Wizards season ticket holders, the lifeblood of the DC NBA team, and keep them renewing for more and more.
A point system can be devised for tickets bought (season tickets, packages, AND single games for sports and concerts), and actual games attended (with more points awarded for attendance). If a Wizards STH is also a Mystics/Caps/G-Town STH, those mean even more points since those guys will also have bought tickets AND should have attended some of them too. If a Wizards STH just buys single game tickets for these other teams (buying through the team), those are also points. If a Wizards STH goes to a concert (and buys through the team), those are more points.
So what can Monumental Rewards members use with their points? Considering how many points a member gets (I'm not going to think of thresholds right now), there could be some really monumental benefits. He or she can use it for one of the following two options:
1. 10% Discount on STH for the next year for all the teams the guy has STH's for. (Limit once every three years).
- Example: Maria is a Wizards STH, and doesn't have ST's for the other teams. She has enough points to elect the discount for the 2012 season and gets a 10% discount on her Wizards tix off the regular STH rate. She can't use it in 2013 and 2014, but she can use it again in 2015. Even if Maria got Mystics and Caps ST's in the next couple years, she can't elect to use the discount until 2015. But if she has enough points in 2015, Maria could get a 10% discount on the total bill for what the regular rate of her Wizards, Mystics and Caps tix, if she had sufficient points for it.
2. Complimentary concessions (up to $15/seat) for a whole year except for Wizards VIP seats and Caps VIP seats where they get food anyway. Like a college meal plan, if you don't use it, you lose it so these dollars do NOT carry over. Members must also flash a special Monumental Rewards card too to redeem. DUH! (Limit once every three years)
These next reward proposals are for high paying and otherwise special-case customers
3. Wizards or Caps VIP's who have enough points can elect the 10% discount once every three years, and in lieu of complimentary concessions which they get anyway, they get to have John Wall or Alex Ovechkin come to their house or workplace once every three years depending on which team's tix the ticket holder has. If they have both teams' VIP's, John and Ovie can come together. Again, the points for this reward is once every three years. If John and/or Alex get traded or is/are unavailable, a different player can come in their place.
4. Ted would ideally like to see the Wiz/Caps/Mystics fanbases to be one and the same. That's impossible of course, but people talk with money and this ideal fan must be rewarded greatly. To date, I only know of one guy with Wizards, Capitals, AND Mystics season tickets (I am not that guy), but there's gotta be at least a handful more folks with a trifecta of Monumental Teams. For these guys, there's a really special treat. Once every FIVE years, they get John Wall, Ovie, and Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne to come to the STH's house, or work (or equivalent players if they're not here of course). If the STH has Wizards or Caps VIP tickets or spends a total of over $10,000/yr for all three teams' tix (some Wizards center court tix cost more than the lowest VIP level seats), this drops to once every three years and replaces option 3.
If a STH in this special category doesn't want the players coming to his place, that's cool. We can then give this guy great tickets, airfare, hotel, and car rental to either the NBA All Star Game and the WNBA All Star Game, or the NHL All Star Game and the WNBA All Star Game, once every FIVE YEARS (not three), and that's regardless of whether or not the guy has Wizards and/or Caps VIP tickets. If we host the NBA/NHL/WNBA All Star game, then there is no hotel/airfare/rental, etc if the STH lives within 100 miles of DC.....
Rewards everyone can use without having to wait every three or more years
5. Okay, enough with these super-rewards that users can't use very often. Points can also equal store credit at the team store ($25 limit to twice a month regardless of how many teams a guy has tix for), a la carte items at the concession stand (like a $5 limit per game) or for single game tickets for non-sporting events like the Circus or the Horseshow or a Justin Bieber concert. If someone doesn't have tickets to all three pro teams, the points can be used for single game tickets to the other teams. Getting these tickets however will not accrue points however. You gotta spend your money to accrue points.
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Well these are my ideas to make fans happier, both the non-STH's and the STH's. I think a rewards plan with the parameters of what I outlined (these here may very well break the bank because many may sound too good to be put into practice), will increase paid attendance and actual attendance for the Wizards in the long run. These rewards can also make our fan experience just that much sweeter as our core improves. These rewards can also improve customer satisfaction for our brother and sister teams in the long run so every Monumental fan benefits.