Just months after recruiting a new team to lead their business operations, the Redskins have overhauled that roster.
President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer Brian Lafemina joined the organization this summer amid great fanfare, and he is no longer with the Redskins, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Chief Marketing Officer Steve Ziff, Chief Commercial Officer Todd Kline and Senior VP of Consumer Sales Jake Bye and are also gone from the team.
The news is major, but it does not have a direct impact on the football field.
Bruce Allen remains as Team President and Eric Schaffer, Doug Williams and Kyle Smith will continue in their posts.
Lafemina came from the NFL league office and was a major force in changing the Redskins strategy on ticket sales. The new business strategy was transparency with fans, and the team removed their long-standing season ticket wait list and told fans tickets were available for home games.
For decades, Redskins tickets were impossible to get.
Now, they are available, but the problem is not that many fans seem to want to go.
It’s hard to know if that’s a direct result from the change in strategy, or rather a two decade plunge into mediocrity. The new business team was given less than a year to implement their ideas, and it will be hard to know if things improve next season.
Each of these executives were brought in amid press releases and with sparkling resumes from other NFL positions. Their now absence seems odd, especially after such a short tenure. The team did not comment on the personnel changes.
The ouster of Lafemina, Ziff, Kline and Bye just adds more drama to a Redskins 2018 campaign full of it.
In the last month, the team released Pro Bowl alternate safety DJ Swearinger, signed Reuben Foster less than three days after he was in jail for domestic violence, and head coach Jay Gruden did not discipline linebacker Mason Foster after a series of private messages emerged online disparaging the team. Also, second-year safety Montae Nicholson got arrested last week for assault. Multiple players have also called out fan support and all of this is ongoing as the team is looking for a new site for their next stadium.
That’s perhaps the most interesting part in all of this.
Lafemina has extensive experience in stadium deals. He worked on the deal that got the Rams their new Los Angeles stadium, and while it’s still under construction, it looks like it will be an architectural triumph.
There are many questions facing the Redskins for the 2019 season and beyond, not the least of which is what will happen at quarterback.
Looks like new faces in the business side of the office will be coming too.