The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Dear Josh Norman

I agree with you. FedEx Field sucks.

It’s an outdated and oversized eyesore. It’s surrounded by interstate and parking lots that get completely jammed before and after games — despite the stadium only barely being more than half-full.

Located in wild and wonderful Landover, Maryland, FedEx Field is at least an hour drive to get to and from the stadium. It’s over about a two-hour ride on the Metro — if it’s working — followed by a mile-long walk to the stadium through suburban condos.

And that’s just the outside.

Inside, you can pay $6 for a single, stale hot dog and $9.50 for beer you could find in the basement of a frat house. And that’s after paying an average of almost $120 for a single ticket and $60 for parking. You then get to watch a consistently disappointing team in a lifeless and visually depressing stadium

Away fans don’t come out in such large numbers because they love their team more. They just don’t know how bad FedEx Field is.

For decades, my family owned season tickets at RFK and the early days of FedEx. We went to every single game no matter the weather or result — even through the revolving door of coaches and quarterbacks.

But as time went on and prices got higher we started asking: Why are we paying for this? We were spending thousands of dollars every year to watch a consistently bad team.

So we cancelled them just as many others have. In fact, the Redskins used to claim 200,000 fans on their season ticket waiting list. Now, that waiting list has a total of zero members.

I haven’t been to a Redskins game in-person since the 2016 playoff loss to the Packers. This isn’t because I don’t love the Redskins. Instead, I refuse to let Dan Snyder continue to suck the life out of the gameday experience and make millions doing it.

Why should fans be forced to spend hours in their car every Sunday to watch an average team in a stadium that is less appealing than a penitentiary?

As a fan, I couldn’t give two fucks about the Bud-Light Fan Zone or other “major” changes to the game day experiences like “new music, features, graphics and enhanced team intros with smoke and pyrotechnic displays.”

In fact, it’s insulting that Snyder and the Redskins think that will bring back fans.

These superficial “fixes” do absolutely nothing to solve the main reasons fans don’t go to games: an overpriced, boring stadium in a depressing area. The graphics seemingly date back to the early 90s, the gaudy free shirts and towels they hand out are covered in advertisements, and the Redskins’ “Drum Line” is breathtakingly bad.

Nothing is more painful than seeing a fan noise meter that clearly has no legitimate measurement of just how quiet Redskins fans are.

As you said, the support is there at away games; if you look in a crowd an away game you’ll see a lot of burgundy and gold. What does that say about a stadium and owner that fans would rather drive or even fly than going to their home stadium?

So Josh if you’re wondering why the atmosphere isn’t the same as Philadelphia, New England, and even Cleveland, don’t blame the fans. Blame the man that pays your salary. Until he finally moves the team back into D.C., you’ll never have a true home-field advantage.

-Sam

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *