A 'sellout,' full house aren't same Premium seats don't count, so Redskins' record lives

September 15, 1997|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Bill Free contributed to this article.

LANDOVER -- Has the Washington Redskins' 31-year string of sellouts come to an end? That depends on whom you ask.

The Redskins reported 78,270 tickets sold for the home opener of their new stadium yesterday, an impressive figure for any team. The team considers the game a sellout, despite having a stadium capacity of 80,116.

"This is a sellout," said Redskins spokesman Mike McCall.

Because the only seats unsold were in the premium categories that carry an annual rental fee, they were technically not on sale for this game alone, and the team's record of selling every single-game ticket since 1966 stands, he said.

The NFL leaves the definition of a sellout up to each team, other than for purposes of local television blackout rules. For a game to be broadcast in the home market, the stadium's general seating must be sold out several days in advance.

That does not include the pricey club seats and luxury suites so plentiful in the new Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. About 18,000 of the stadium's seats fit into these categories.

"We have no definition beyond that," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

The Redskins have long bragged of their sellout record. The team reports solid sellouts, dating back to 1966. Every game since at RFK Stadium in Washington, the league's smallest stadium until last year, was sold by season ticket. More than 40,000 ticket requests were kept on a waiting list by the team.

The Redskins ran through their waiting list earlier this year, but many fans apparently blanched at the high cost of the seats that were available, most in the club level where ticket prices started at $99 a game. Also, 72 of the 280 suites planned for the new stadium were converted to loge seating and sold individually.

Pub Date: 9/15/97

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