City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: If You’ve Got U2 Tickets, Don’t Read This! Just Leave Now!

J.P. Szymkowicz has a prediction for tonight's U2 concert at FedExField:

"It's going to be a mess," he says. "By 6 p.m. they'll start turning people away from the parking lots. It's going to be another Radiohead."

In concert go-er parlance, "another Radiohead" means "way @#$%^&*'d up!" A lack of usable parking spaces for the precious British band's performance at the Bristow, Va., hellhole caused thousands of ticketholders to miss the entire show.

Szymkowicz personally witnessed that Nissan Pavilion debacle. But that's not the only reason to have faith in his prediction of another Radiohead tonight. Nobody outside Redskins Park knows more about Dan Snyder's parking set up than Szymkowicz. He's the guy who spearheaded the lawsuit against the Redskins for the game-day ban on pedestrian traffic around FedExField.

Because of his litigation, in 2004 the team had to reverse its policy and allow folks who found ways around Snyder's outrageous parking charges to walk into Skins games.

(AFTER THE JUMP: FedExField has HOW many parking spaces? Capitol Hill interns are going to be to blame for the U2 mess? Some buffoon's looking for a parking pass to tonight's show? The New York Times and Dan Snyder are in bed together? Audi is Dan Snyder's new mattress?)

That case against the Redskins required him to do a lot of research into such things as how many cars can fit into Snyder's lots. And the resulting intelligence informed his forecast for mass confusion and big problems at the U2 show.

"I think they had 19,000 to 21,000 spaces back then," he says. "The lots have changed, but I think it's about the same amount now. But you've got between 78,000 to 83,000 people there tonight. The clusterfuck that's going to happen tonight is based on the fact that they don't have enough parking spaces. It's going to be worse because this U2 crowd won't know what to do. A Redskins parking lot is pretty organized, because [the same people go] there every week and have since the stadium opened 10 years ago. People know where to go. Tonight, you'll have all these young Capitol Hill people who moved to DC from Kansas and Ohio and all over. These new people will have no idea where they're going."

But, the beauty of Dan Snyder's operation: Even folks who get turned away from the parking lots will have already paid the Redskins owner a parking fee for the show: Snyder sneakily tacked on an $8 per ticket parking surcharge to every U2 ticket sold.

Assuming 80,000 folks bought tickets, that's $640,000 extra dollars that go straight into Snyder's pockets, no matter how many of those ticketholders take Metro or walk or just plain get shut out of the show.

As they used to say about Lex Luthor: The guy's a genius!

Stay tuned to Cheap Seats Daily for updates on Radiohead 2K9.


The guy who placed this Craigslist ad is among the demographic J.P. Szymkowicz refers to: Folks with U2 tickets who have no idea what they're about to get into:


Date: 2009-09-29, 10:01AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Sorry to break it to you, Steve: There are no parking passes for the U2 show.


Dan Snyder isn't getting along with the Washington Post. Nothing new there.

But the New York Times all of a sudden has really gotten into public displays of affection for the Redskins owner. I mean, if this keeps up, pretty soon they're going to have to get a room.

Today's Times has a story headlined "Former Redskins Executive Likes Snyder's Newfound Patience." The piece includes Charley Casserley's views on what's going on with the Redskins these days.

But in the story, by Times' writer Judy Battista, Casserley, who was fired by Snyder after the 1999 season to give Vinny Cerrato a better office, merely says he's not in favor of in-season firings. Bottom line: Casserley's quotes don't merit the headline.

The Times' overglowing headline seemed even stranger after hearing an interview with the former Redskins general manager on this morning's "Sports Junkies" show on WJFK, where Casserley didn't in any way endorse the Redskins owner.

The Times' pro-Snyder headline comes just days after the same paper ran a sweet and bulletproof story about Snyder and wife Tanya's bouts with cancer.

Dan Snyder talked to the New York Times for that piece. The Snyders look fabulous in the two photos that run with it.

Why the hell doesn't he do more of that?


While fans are abandoning Snyder's Good Ship Titanic, the automaker Audi has seen fit to sign a long-term deal to strengthen its relationship with the Redskins.

From a press release announcing the alliance:

The partnership offers Audi and Washington-area Audi dealers extensive opportunities to interact with some of professional football’s most dedicated fans. The Audi brand and Audi performance vehicles will enjoy prominence at FedExField, in television advertising and Redskins social media applications.

Notably, the Redskins and Audi are completely remodeling the east end of FedExField to Audi design standards. The result will be a new 13,000-square-foot Audi Club for all premium seating-level fans to enjoy during games and special events.

Audi of America moved its headquarters to Herndon, Va., during the summer of 2008 and this agreement establishes Audi as the hometown team in the Washington, D.C. market.“

Audi is making it a top high priority to be a vital presence in our new home,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “Joining up with the Washington Redskins and the team’s passionate fans sends a clear signal that Audi will play an active role for years to come in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. I look forward to expanding this relationship and expanding our role in the region’s communities alongside an organization with deep local roots.”

Good for Snyder, landing another sponsor in this economic climate.

But it's still not as exciting as Snyder's official mattress.


Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Ren

    After reading your article, I find it so misleading and incorrect that it's honestly ridiculous.

    Yes, tonight's U2 show will be a ridiculous mess... but isn't every Redskins game a little bit of the same? Billy Joel and Elton John just recently performed at Fed-Ex Field to a sold out crowd- was the parking situation at this show so horrendous that it warranted an article?

    As for the comparison to the Radiohead show at Nissan Pavilion... I wasn't aware that flash floods and torrential, monsoon like rainfall was expected this evening in the District? Because any comparison to the Radiohead show loses all credibility unless the weather is equally as severe.

    And last but not least, I am an Ohio transplant who relocated to this area almost a year ago. I travel (along with my friends and roommates) into the DC Metro area almost daily for work and other events and I resent the implication that WE'RE the ones who cause the disruption and chaos. More likely, it's the suburbanites in their minivans who rarely make their way into DC that will be the ones causing problems. This glimpse at reality comes from experience.

  • Dave McKenna

    love your attitude, Ren! alas, your "glimpse of reality" is jerkful. The parking situation at the Billy Joel and Elton John show did not warrant an article, Ren, because, well, that show wasn't at FedExField. It was at Nationals Park. so what's this reality you experienced, anyway? you ohioan transplants, i tell you! The parking situation at every event at FedExField is bad enough to get coverage. please bring that nasty tone with you on your next trip back home, and leave it there.

    but, as always, thanks for Playing the Feud™!

  • Arthur Delaney


  • Jamie

    Aww Dave be nice to the poor wittle midwesterner, he hasn't even been here a year.

    Anyway just to add more fuel to the fire, the last time there was a concert at FedEx (Paul McCartney), it WAS a disaster, and lots of people did blog about it. Go google now.

    Apparently they started the show an hour late because traffic was backed up for miles and McCartney didn't feel like playing to a half-full stadium. One blogger says didn't even leave the lots one the way out until 2 AM. I am pretty sure football games do not start an hour late every week because of traffic.

    On the flip side, the parking fee for McCartney was $10, so it sounds like you're getting a bargain this time at only $8 for a parking spot that apparently has only a 1 in 3 chance of existing.

    Finally - Ren - I didn't really get the implication that transplants were being blamed for the problem in some kind of vindictive way. His point was that they don't go to the football games every single week like the vast majority of people at the games. It's a perfectly fair point. If you have not lived in a town very long, more likely than not, you don't know where you are going.

  • Jeremy

    I just got back from the U2 show. First, it was an AMAZING show. But I think this time the real cluster#@*! was with Metro riders trying to get home.

    As we rode the escalator up to the upper level at about 7:15, there were still many parking spaces available. Can't comment on the traffic because we took Metro.

    Here's what I do know - we got out of the stadium relatively quickly, but the show didn't end until about 11:15pm. We made it to Morgan Blvd and had little difficulty getting on a train - first one was full, second one we got seats. However, while we were on the platform waiting for the train, the line outside the station had come to a complete halt. I don't know how far back it went, but I assume there were at least a couple thousand people still waiting to get into the Metro system. We rode the train to Metro Center to transfer to the red line. While we were on the platform waiting for the red line train, there were announcements indicating that only a couple more trains were coming through that night, and alerting the station managers to start closing things down.

    The almost certain result is that many people behind us were unable to get all the way to their destinations on Metro.

  • Simon

    Agreed with the above. Took the metro; regretted it. Walking up to the stadium at 7:30, it was clear that there were plenty of spaces left. Left the stadium on the late side, and got onto a train without much difficulty; but after standing for so many hours at the concert, the last thing I wanted to do was walk a mile and then stand, again, all the way to L'Enfant Plaza.

    Regret not having driven, especially since I'd already paid $16 (2 tix) for a parking space.

  • Pingback: Cheap Seats Daily: Will Fanimosity Rear Its Covered Head at FedExField This Weekend? - City Desk - Washington City Paper

  • narwhal

    We went to the U@ concert last night in the cheap seats. We expected to have parking trouble because I don't live in the DC area and don't know my way around. With a very small amount of research we made our plan parked free and were out of our lot and on the beltway before most were out of their lots. Moral FEDEX field layout/organization but with small amount of planning you can beat the system...but I am not going to tell anyone how.

    My only complaint is that I had to wait in the cold upper deck for those that left home too late.

  • jay b

    yeah because they don't have traffic jams in ohio.

  • Vanessa

    I’m a big fan of U2 and I used to attend their concerts, but I hate paying much for tickets. Few months ago, I missed a concert because I could not find cheap tickets that I could afford. Then, I became determined to find a cheaper way to purchase tickets < so I would never suffer that same indignity again. After some time of search, I may say that I have finally reached my goal and found a way to buy concert tickets cheaply! Only two nights ago, I came across an interesting website that carries wide selections of tickets at interesting discounts. I was really surprised by the prices they have. You may share with me this experience by checking the site yourself.