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The ads for FedEx Field

After Sunday's game, I ran out of time to go to the gym, so instead I ran around FedEx Field four times. It was a fine enough time, absent the occasional wafting odors of porta-potty and the need to dodge a random pair of women's underwear four times, but it wasn't exactly like jogging around Wrigley Field.

As always, let me stress that the look and location of FedEx Field is not the fault of the current administration, but it's just a hard place to love.

And yet, as will all new things, like new cars and new homes and babies and second-round receivers, the initial hope is that everything will be perfect, that the brakes will work and the roof won't cave in and the diapers won't smell and they won't be cut within two seasons. Thus, presenting some images from the 1996 Redskins media guide I just stumbled upon. Look at the optimism. Look at the way the stadium levels paid homage to the past. Look at the stylish gentlemen laughing their merry way through a Sunday afternoon. Look at the strong words: So Easy To Reach! Parking Galore! An Abundance of Leg Room! The Newly Named Town of Raljon!

Ah, those were the days.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 12, 2010; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Steinberg: whenever you criticize FedEx Field, you should also note that it was mostly funded by private money (Jack Kent Cooke's) and is not a corporate welfare boondoggle. That, in and of itself, makes it a better stadium than many around the country, include the one in Baltimore..........

Also worth noting that the "current administration" added 14,000 seats to an already crowded stadium. Thereby exacerbating many of the problems. So your attempt to absolve Snyder is lame.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 12, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

2 main reasons FedEx Field sucks

1)They are the Washington Redskins and they play in Maryland not Washington

2)No metro access on or adjacent to the stadium

Posted by: MrWillie | October 12, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse


I might be wrong because I have not looked up the facts, but if my memory serves me correct, the reason the stadium is in Maryland is because JKC was unable to get a deal done with Marion Barry. The Cooke family wanted to stay in the District but would not bend to the demands of the city, so they went to Maryland. At the time, there was only supposed to be 80k seats and they had shuttle service to the metro and to parking at USair arena. The shuttles were taken away when Metro determined it was "illegal" for them to rent to the Redskins on gamedays.

Posted by: goose33 | October 12, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@goose - all correct except it was that idiot Sharon Pratt-Dixon who wouldn't take the deal for a privately financed replacement for RFK stadium.

Posted by: geotherm21 | October 12, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Those images look 30 years old, not 15.

It is definitely inconvenient to drive out to what used to be known as Raljon, but there are problems with flow that exacerbate the situation. The main issue is with the exits to the lot, where the cars are blocked from exiting by the stream of pedestrian traffic. It would be so much faster to leave and more convenient if they had put the pedestrian access to the lots in the middle of the lots, not on the road, or if they build elevated pedestrian walkways. I know it's an expense, but I would rather have the parking situation dealt with than add extra club section items or brand new giant score boards.

There are a lot of other issues and I've clearly thought about this for way too long. But as someone who started going to skins games when he started going to school (>20 yrs), a bad team like last year's and all of these issues at the stadium made the game not fun at all and not worth going to. That said, I'll deal with any and all of these issues as long as they are winning...

Posted by: malarsk | October 13, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I went to my first game at FedEx last week. I got to say, we didn't have a problem with traffic, no worse than any other stadium I have been too. Than again I was coming back into DC from PG so that may have helped.

Here is the things I noticed.

I went to the Eagle Bank Bowl last winter at RFK, and the atmosphere there was just better, how can 30,000 people in a rusted out hole in the ground make more noise than 80,000 at Fedex?

I didn't find the stadium impressive, the food was bla, as was the design, as was everything about it. Nothing about FedEx pops out to you. Now I am bias, but I would take the experience at Nationals park over FedEx. Better food, better design, better sightlines.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

One reason RFK sounds just as loud, if not louder, is because of the partial roof that stretches around the entire stadium. Besides for keeping some folks in the upped deck dry, it amplifies the sound with the echo back towards the field. However at Fed Ex, not only is there no partial roof, but the upper deck funnels outwards so much and is so far away from the field, that very little crowd noise from the upped deck makes its way down to the field, thus negating the power of all ~92,000 fans.

Blah is a good way to describe the stadium. It serves it's purpose, to let as many people watch the redskins as possible, but anything past that simple goal (like the fan experience, the aesthetic of the design, etc) is really insufficient.

I'm hoping and guessing that within 10-15 years, Little Danny will get fed up with this monstrosity and very jealous over the new Jerry World and will try to build a new stadium in the city. FedEx won't yet be past it's prime, but there are too many issues and drawbacks.

Posted by: malarsk | October 13, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I went to my first game at FedEx last week. I got to say, we didn't have a problem with traffic, no worse than any other stadium I have been too.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Been saying this for a while...the people on the blogs who constantly complain about traffic/parking at fed ex aren't the ones who actually go to the games. Traffic/parking is not a serious issue anymore at Fed Ex, and hasn't been in several years.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 13, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I've been going to Fed Ex since it opened and the traffic is slightly better, but it has always been and is still horrendous

Posted by: malarsk | October 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Traffic is most definitely a problem. And it got worse after lil Danny crammed in the extra 14,000 seats.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

In a weird way i think we were able to land the Nationals because RFK was available and the Skins were in Landover. If the Redskins built FedEx Field at the RFK site like originally planned it would have been a football only facility and Snyder would of never let the Nats share his crib. RFK was a multipurpose cookie cutter stadium that swayed the Expos to DC until Nats park was built. So i kinda thank JKC for helping us land baseball in DC. Now lets just get the Skins and United their new stadiums built in the District and we are all set with our sports teams for the next generation.

Posted by: MrWillie | October 13, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Have Redskins fans been to games at other NFL stadiums? I've only been to two other NFL stadiums but they are vastly, vastly superior to FedEx. From ease of getting to the stadium, professionalism of the staff working there, atmosphere once in the stadium -Redskins fans are really missing out and are putting up with a really inferior experience.

Posted by: Aerowaz | October 13, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Traffic is a problem depending on when you arrive and when you leave. Also depends on whether you use Redskins Road or Morgan Blvd.

If you sit in the lower level and leave after the game ends, your ride out is easy...very easy....I don't even stop till I get to Central Blvd. IF you sit upper level, by the time you get to your car, the roads become a parking lot. IF you tailgate after the game, leaving is a breeze.

Also, Morgan Blvd is MUCH less crowded than Redskins Road or Arena Drive. And if you leave headed towards DC and avoid 495, almost no traffic.

Come early and tailgate, leave at the right time or from the right road and traffic is not bad at all. Just don't be a lemming....

Posted by: mtenan | October 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My biggest problem is that a facility that was designed to host events with up to 78,000 attendees now can seat over 90,000 with no real change to infrastructure or the facility (other than adding seats). I've been to games at FedEx from the first one (Westbrook in OT!) until about 2 years ago, and the traffic issues remain in the parking areas, and getting OUT of the parking lots. Pedestrian traffic interferes too much with vehicle traffic.

Yank out 15,000 seats (including those ridiculous "Dream Seats"), fix the pedestrian traffic, and bar anyone from entering who is legally drunk and you fix 98% of what is wrong at FedEx.

Posted by: kingrob76 | October 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Yank out 15,000 seats (including those ridiculous "Dream Seats"), fix the pedestrian traffic, and bar anyone from entering who is legally drunk and you fix 98% of what is wrong at FedEx.

Posted by: kingrob76 | October 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: stwasm | October 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

So, some people are mad that FedEx Field is not on Metro, while others are mad that people walking from the Metro station hinder car traffic?

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | October 13, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I dont think its the traffic or the people walking. Our experience has been that the people who are supposed to direct the traffic and help so it doesn't get stalled are just not fit for the job. They are not trained and are not interested in doing their job.

We have been going to fedex ever since it was built and the situation has gotten progressively worse. Last game, I got out of the car and directed traffic to get into the lot and we got going in less than 5 mins after sitting in the jam without moving for more than 20 mins.

If only they would have the attitude towards doing their jobs right, we wont have this issue.

Posted by: Enkay | October 13, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've been to most home games since Joe Gibbs came back and have yet to have any issues getting to or from the stadium in a timely manner. I must question whether the people complaining about traffic have ever been to another stadium in their lives. It takes me no longer than 45 minutes to get to the stadium from most. On the way home it takes even less time. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people complain about the traffic/parking. It really is a non-issue.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 13, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

While Cooke may have fronted his own money to build the joint, I believe that after it was finished he then financed the structure to get his money back. (I think Pollin may have done the same thing with both of his arenas (the buildings - not Gilbert).) Also, I remember being at a doctors office one day, a year after the stadium opened, and John Cooke's wife was there talking with the doc. He was complaining about how he got crappier seats at the new stadium compared to what he had at RFK. I heard her reply to him along the lines of 'You should be thankful with what you got and not have been one of the club seat buyers. They got really screwed.'

Posted by: bbmcoachk | October 14, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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