STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #30
- Location: Landover, MD
- Opened: 1997
- Capacity: 79,000
- Weather: Comfortable (ranked 4th best of 20 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1
- Last Visited: 2019
Washington used to have a season ticket holder waitlist of 160,000 names. In 2019, tickets for a November tilt against the Lions were going for as little as $4. And there were still 20,000 empty seats. To say that the fans have given up forking over their cash to unpopular owner Daniel Snyder is an understatement. This once robust fan base has decided to protest years of mediocre football and perceived price gouging through the weapon of apathy.
While a mere 12 miles from the White House, the trek to the stadium is a good hour’s drive on game day. Parking is among the priciest in the league and is a Ben-Hur chariot race after the game, one of the most disorganized messes I’ve ever seen.
Over the past decade, capacity of the stadium has dropped by 15,000 seats, yet many remain empty or in the hands of fans from visiting teams. I attended a game against the Bears and it was probably a 50/50 split at kick off, and 80/20 Bears once the game ended with many Washington fans bailing early. The structure itself, while only 25 years old, hasn’t aged well and is among the most basic in football. There are some obstructed view seats due to overhang issues. Concessions are generally meh, though there is a Ben’s Chili Bowl.
The biggest positive is the marching band, the oldest marching band in football. “Hail to the Redskins” was one of the better pro fight songs. Not sure what they’ll do with Commanders, but hopefully, the band sticks around.
The team has settled a few off-the-field messes, and have a new inoffensive name. Next step is to improve the fan experience, likely with a new stadium by the time the lease is up in 2027. Because FedEx Field is the least fun building in football. A once-proud fan base deserves better.