We had talked this over. There was a void. We were sure of it.
These conversations took place at games when Brian, Ben and I were together. They also took place afterward when we went into the D.C. night after games. We watched what The Athletic did in different cities. Rooted for the Boston Sports Journal in New England. We took a look at what was going on in our city, both with content and coverage priorities. We came to the conclusion that the District could use a different sports voice. That’s why we opened The Sports Capitol.
We don’t say that with hubris or insult. These are trying, disappointing and confusing times for the sports editorial industry. What we do know is that the free model doesn’t work. It leads to bad editorial decisions in pursuit of clicks. It populates websites with layers of noise so irritating readers leave. Trying to make the numbers work in that way is untenable.
Which is why we won’t have ads on the site. We also won’t have clickbait headlines. We will have in-depth stories about the Capitals, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards. Every day. All week. The Sports Capitol will be the only site with a family of podcasts covering all four teams — a collection of exclusive audio that we feel is worth the monthly subscription price alone. We’ll have fresh photos, fresh stories, and a process that will take you with us as much as possible.
The site is subscription-based. Here’s why: Everyone deserves to be paid for their work. We take this idea seriously. We’re not going to try to build a revenue stream off free labor or by taking someone else’s work, more commonly known as “aggregating.” We will be in locker rooms, at games, at practices, and, selectively, on the road to provide original, independent coverage.
We also think District sports fans are getting a bad rap. People live here. They went to high school or college here, then stayed. There’s a reason for that. These are their teams and to suggest otherwise is an insult. Is that everyone? No. But, we’re not here for everyone. We’re here for people in our communities who have gone through the glory of the Joe Gibbs years. Ones who feel the recent playoff failings shackled to each team. We’ll be catering to those fans, and the newer ones. The ones who have grown with baseball since it returned. The ones who spend all winter watching the Capitals and Wizards try to kick aside this postseason rut. Because of that, we won’t waste your time with a cluttered Website or off-topic headlines. We won’t be giving you an outsider’s view of the area. We’ll be in the stadiums, in the arenas, in the locker rooms. We’ll be sticking to D.C. sports.
If you are clicking through the site Monday morning, keep in mind we’re just getting started. That means two things. First, we have a flood of content coming. We went to spring training, are heading to the NFL Combine and will be all around the city in the coming days. We also have more exclusive content planned. Today’s exclusive lead story with former Georgetown coach John Thompson III — about a place and name intertwined with D.C. sports like few others — is a hint of what to expect. In addition, we have several intriguing podcast guests lined up.
The site will be open for a week. Early subscriptions are discounted to just $5 during that time. We hope you will consider joining us from the start.
Have comments or questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for being here today. We look forward to talking with you tomorrow.
— Ben, Brian and Todd