Washington Commanders




  • Location: Landover, MD
  • Opened: 1997
  • Capacity: 58,000
  • 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. This once robust fan base protested years of mediocre football and perceived price gouging through the weapon of apathy. And it doesn’t help that they have the worst barn in the NFL.

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 more than 30,000 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. Once holding over 90,000 fans, current capacity is a mere 58,000.

The structure itself, which opened in 1997, hasn’t aged well and is among the most basic in football. There are some obstructed view seats due to overhang issues. Sewage once poured into the seats when a pipe burst during a game. A railing once collapsed sending a few souls plummeting several feet onto the field (albeit, they were Eagle fans, so it was probably a grift). 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. Even with all of the name changes and the ownership swap, the band plays on. “Hail to the Redskins” was one of the better pro fight songs, and while “Hail to the Commanders” doesn’t sound right (not to get political, but it feels a little like an ode to a dictator), the band still brings it.

This place was bad enough that former sponsor FedEx wriggled out of their naming rights contract two years early so as not to be associated with this place. Fortunately, a new era is coming in Washington. The team settled a few off-the-field messes, has an inoffensive name, and an inoffensive owner. Next step is to improve the fan experience, likely with a new stadium by the end of the decade. Because Commanders Field is the least fun building in football. A once-proud fan base deserves better.