Air Jordans Release Leads to Long Lines

Christmas (and crowds) come early for sneakerheads as the latest Nike Air Jordans are released.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

The line for the new Air Jordan shoes outside of Sports Zone in Georgetown. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

The Nike marketing geniuses behind the Michael Jordan brand were at it early on the eve of Christmas Eve, at least at the Sports Zone in Georgetown. Dozens of fans lined up pre-dawn to snag a pair of the just-dropped Air Jordan XI Concord shoes. The store tweeted: “The wait is over, and the time is upon.”

Upon us, indeed. Some shoppers set up camp in the wee hours. The line stretched half the block. Even larger crowds were reported at malls in Virginia and Maryland. A listener told WTOP radio that an estimated 20 police and emergency vehicles were at the Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Virginia.

There were two police cars parked outside the Georgetown Sports Zone and two officers at the doors. Soon after the store opened, a hand-scrawled sign on the door indicated only “toddler and infant” sizes remained. Toddler and infant shoes at $180 a pop? We wanted to investigate further, but the store’s phone line was busy each time we attempted a redial.