Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Heineman Offers Clarification

Wizards President, Robb Heineman responded to comments he made yesterday at the season ticket holder stadium tour today on Bigsoccer. He responded to the comments about where the Wizards will play to start next season, the possibility of playing at Arrowhead, as well as neutral site "home" games.

My biggest issue was the neutral site league games, which Heineman addresses first, and even says is likely not a good idea. He says that the Wizards are entertaining the idea of "a" netural site "home" game in a location where the team can assure a "pro-Wizards/pro-Bravo crowd. AKA, they're looking for a location in the southwest (as Heineman mentions), somewhere where they can pull in Mexican fans who want to see Wizards designated player, Omar Bravo play. Any game in a neutral site in Arizona (or anywhere in the southwest) isn't going to be a "pro-Wizards" crowd, it's going to be a "pro-Bravo" crowd that is only cheering for the Wizards because that's who Bravo is playing for. How many of those pro-Blanco fans are still coming to Fire games, even in Chicago now that he's not there?

If the team does play a neutral site home game, Heineman says the team will work to put together a travel package for fans who want to travel, or compensate season ticket holders who don't want to do that. That's a smart move at least in offering both options for season ticket holders instead of holding them to it or not offering the opportunity to possibly travel if people want.

Heineman reiterates that the team will not play a game at CAB next season, because he says much of the equipment on site is leased annually, so the team won't sign leases for an entire year when they would only be using the stadium for a few games. He does say that the team has not ruled out the possibility of playing at Arrowhead some next year. Heineman mentions that in his perfect world the team would play 3 games at Arrowhead to help break up the road trip, similar to the situation this year for Philadelphia where they played 2 games at Lincoln Financial Field while PPL Park was finished. For me this is the best option of the three options, where none of those options are ideal. But I'd rather have a few games at home before the stadium opens just to help provide some help competitively to the team's record.

As I said yesterday, the Galaxy had a horrible run when they opened the Home Depot Center, going 0-4-4, while the Chicago Fire did better, going 2-3-4, picking up 10 points. And going back to my above example with the expansion Union, who went 2-7-1 before PPL Park opened (1-7 on the road). So maybe I overreacted a bit last night, but I don't like the idea of an extended road trip, it gets tiring on players having to travel every single week, and the Wizards have never been a good road team, they only have two seasons in their history where they have a winning record on the road, going 9-7 in 1997 and 5-3-8 2000. Over their history the Wizards average 15 points on the road a season, on the road for a long stretch I struggle to see the Wizards hitting that mark.

I still struggle to see the Wizards making the playoffs in the 2011 season, maybe I'm just pessimistic, but unlike 2003 and 2006 with LA and Chicago, less than half the teams in the league will make the playoffs in 2011, and with a traditionally poor road team playing a long stretch away from home it's hard to see the Wizards getting enough points early on in the season. But I do appreciate Heineman stepping up to clarify his comments from yesterday.


Kevin said...

We started this season 2-6-2 with a "normal" home/road split this season.

Us making the playoffs next year will have less to do with how many road games we play in the beginning half of the season and more to do with how Bravo and any new signings gel with the team.

Anonymous said...

disagree, if we get off to a bad start on the road we're definitely going to struggle to make the playoffs again

Ron Bishop said...

I agree with Kevin. At some point, you just have to win. - not just at home, not just when you have your starters healthy, not not just when the stars are right.

A team that makes the playoffs is a team that found different ways to win more often than not - everywhere. They win at home. They win on the road. They win with guys off the bench. They dominate.

Of course, it's not easy. That's what makes it special.

Kevin said...

Plus two seasons ago, this very same group played two straight months on the road while CAB was being retro-fitted.

That team started 3-4-3 (including 1-3-2 on the road trip) and still made the playoffs that year, thanks in part to our dominant home record that year and more home games toward in the end of the year.

I think the road start is overblown. If the team starts off poorly its going to be a struggle to make the playoffs. If the team is good enough to make the playoffs, then they need to win road games anyway.

Anonymous said...

it's fucking stupid as hell that or season tickets prices are going up and their now saying that "well the first part of the season may include some of our home games away from kansas city". espically because there is only 3 days left for season tickets holders to renew there seats, because most of them prob already have. major refund required depending on how many game are held away from kansas city.

Anonymous said...

wow - nice language above...forget how to use your vocab words from jr high?

Reepicheep said...

I think Heineman secretly believes the Stadium will be done early and no "home" games will have to be played elsewhere. Of course they'll have to allow MLS to schedule them elsewhere, but that can change if the stadium is done early.

In the bigger picture, WE GET A REAL STADIUM. It's sweet. It may not be our year next year, but things are looking up long term....but they do need to get rid of Vermes...but that's a different post.