LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12: Fans of the Washington Redskins cheer during the NFL season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on September 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 13-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
There’s passion, tradition and culture that revolves around the Redskins. Babies are born wearing 'Skins jerseys, families make annual pilgrimages just to tailgate, and some parts of our region shut down on game days, including I-495.
But what if the Redskins weren’t here? Or more realistically, what if there is a lockout next season and the tradition and ritual is put on hold?
The Washington Post took an interesting look at how local businesses would be affected without the stimulus that the 'Skins bring. And surprisingly, perhaps, our world will not stop revolving if the Redskins stop playing.
"The evidence in economic research is that when there's a football game or baseball game played by a local team, it reallocates money in a local economy. It doesn't create new money," Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist told the Post. "The people who spend $300 on tickets and another $100 on parking and whatever, it's money they're not going to spend on restaurants, the Kennedy Center, local bowling alleys or whatever. Most people have a budget for leisure activities, and it doesn't change."
But there are many local businesses that depend on weekend crowds and hungry Hogs to boost their business during the fall and winter months. Grocery stores look for both tailgaters and partygoers to stock up on wings, drinks and sides to supply the masses. Bars and restaurants expect filled booths and bar rails with fans that plan to hunker down for the day and pig out to their heart’s content.
There are also stadium employees and vendors who will suffer. According to the Post, many depend on commission from the beers, water and peanuts they hawk. And while the job is supplemental for many, no Sunday income could mean economic trouble for some families.
In the grand scheme of things, the economic dent the Redskins make is relatively minor. But if owners and players aren’t able to come to an agreement and a lockout becomes reality, the culture that is built on Redskins tradition will likely suffer.