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Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 12/13/2010

Sunday's crowd at FedEx Field

By Dan Steinberg

A few observations about Sunday's crowd at FedEx Field.

At Kickoff

Shortly before kickoff, this is what the crowd looked like. It's always a slow-filling stadium, and it filled in considerably in the next few minutes, but it was a shocking view for a few minutes there. Much worse than normal.

Outside the Gates

I was meeting a high-school student outside the Hall of Fame Store, so I had a few minutes to kill. A scalper approached me. I said "how much?" Eventually, he said he could sell me a ticket for $20. I didn't push him, but this was more than an hour before kickoff, so I'm thinking I probably could have gotten in for less.

StubHub was offering a pair of 400-level seats for 49 cents each, plus 70 tickets for $5 or less. Wind, rain, cold, blech, yes yes yes. Still.

And yeah, the official ticket window was, as always, offering face-value seats. I saw one person buy a $70.40 ticket, and another buy a $48.40. I don't begrudge the Redskins for following NFL rules on the definition of a sell-out, but as always, I'd like to point out that it was the type of sell-out where you could buy face-value tickets from the official ticket window an hour before the game started.


The announced attendance was 66,124. Here are the only Redskins games with lower announced attendance figures in FedEx Field history:

Dec. 6, 1998 vs. San Diego, 65,713
Dec. 24, 2000 vs. Arizona, 65,711
Jan. 6, 2002 vs. Arizona, 61,721


Did players notice?

"I notice everything," Phillip Daniels said. "I just appreciate the people that came out here in the rain to support us. I really love those people for doing that. You know, they didn't have to. They could have did just like the rest of them, stayed home and not supported us, but I appreciate the fans that came out. You can't do anything about the crowd. It's bad weather, we're not winning, so those things play a factor, but at the same time, I appreciate every fan that stands behind us regardless of what happens or where we are. I love those kind of fans."

"I noticed it," Andre Carter said. "I noticed it. But at the end of the day, it's about us. We appreciate the diehards that came out and contributed and made it as loud as possible."

"One, when you don't win, you kind of expect that, and two, on a very cold and windy day, you kind of expect that," Reed Doughty said. "But the fans that were here, I really appreciated what they brought to us, and I thought it was a pretty lively crowd. If you're gonna show up [on a day like that], you're gonna cheer. I felt like they were with us til the end."

"You know what, I have to say this about our fans: given the circumstances, given the rain and the cold, I was impressed with the fans, the true fans," Vonnie Holliday said. "Those are the people that sat out in that rain the whole time, and that cold, and supported their team and cheered us on. Hats off to them. With those conditions, at this point in the season, to show up and to cheer us on, I mean, it's much appreciated. I know all these guys in the locker room appreciate that."

In the Second Half

These images come from the second half. There were some empty seats.

By Dan Steinberg  | December 13, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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That was pneumonia weather and my big screen Hi Def TV served my purpose. I will be out there on Jan 2nd for the last home game if the weather is good! Yes, I am truly a fair weather fan.

Still 66,000 is a huge crowd and I admire those that braved the weather! In comparison, 66,000 people would fill the Verizon Center to over capacity 3 times over.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 13, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The upper level was completely empty. I'm sure a lot of the club level folks were back inside watching on the TVs or at one of the bars. The lower level was pretty full, but this was to be expected. I couldn't give away seats to friends or family in the lower level, but maybe they just didn't want to sit next to, or in front of, me. It was actually a fun game to be at, despite the rain and outcome. They'll be twice as many empty seats on January 2 - unless the Giants fans come down and fill it up.

Posted by: Section104 | December 13, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I realize the crowd was "small" but when the pre-game pics were taken a lot of folks were still on the concourse trying to stay out of the weather & being in each other's way. I usually enjoy coming early but with the weather like it was we got to our seats about 10 mins. before kick-off.

Posted by: btwigg | December 13, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

That game was brutal. I was soaked to the bone by the end.

Posted by: Andymr | December 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

66,000 is more than 13 teams were averaging through the first half of the season ( Congrats to the fans that suffered through. Shame on the Shanahans for giving the diehards another game resulting in suffering.

Posted by: dcsportsfan21701 | December 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes you are a jerk Steinberg. I sat out in the friggin cold rain for three hours while I suspect you sat in a press box. If you were even there. Rather than casting this as a "how many people didn't show up story" why not cast it as "look how many great fans withstood horrible conditions and to cheer on their team in a meaningless game." THIS is why the media sucks.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Shame on the Shanahans?! Danny Boy assembled this sad sack of a team. We need to be patient. It's going to take more than 13 games for Mike Shanahan to sort out the mess of the last 12 years.

Posted by: j-man1 | December 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I want to thank all the sheep who finally stayed away from padding Danny's pockets this week. This had to a box office/parking lot/concession stand/team merchandise disaster that cost him millions!!!

Posted by: Riddler1 | December 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse


As I've written elsewhere, this and other weeks, I wouldn't blame anyone for staying away. And bully for the people who went. But there were fewer of them than at almost any game in FedEx Field history, and I thought that was worth noting.

And yes, I was in the warm press box.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | December 13, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side, traffic into and out of the stadium was MUCH better than normal. Goes to show that the infrastructure is ok for 60,000-70,000 but horrible for 90k+.

The place also seemed pretty loud compared to earlier games this season.

Posted by: flynhwyn | December 13, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Despite what the red and yellow apologists and Barno say, if this was a good team run but a competent ownership group and front office, despite the rain, cold, lightning, hurricanes, towering infernos, etc., in the old days, the fans showed up.

Posted by: playahatah | December 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the morons that went, but left at half time to go catch the MD Bball game,,,with the caps on tv later,,,,ummmm did I mention it was a bad day in DC sports???

But, there was NO way 60,000 people where there! Amazing that Danny still is charging $35 to park, sad that he doesnt get it yet. Plus, they spelled a word wrong in their advertising on the big screen, pretty funny how bad Danny is at Marketing too :)

Posted by: cm88 | December 13, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW,,Dan,,when you put up on the big screen, that we should call a number if there is any INNappropriate behavior,,,its spelled INappropriate, you freaking moron!!!! Great owner we have, hope he learns to spell before he offers another stupid contract to another lazy player.

Posted by: cm88 | December 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

BTW,,Dan,,when you put up on the big screen, that we should call a number if there is any INNappropriate behavior,,,its spelled INappropriate, you freaking moron!!!! Great owner we have, hope he learns to spell before he offers another stupid contract to another lazy player.

Posted by: cm88 | December 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse


ASHBURN, VA -- With three weeks left in the NFL football regular season and several weeks of post-season play to follow, the Washington Redskins already have nothing left to play for and are said to be looking past their final games of the year and into the off-season.

Fortunately, their next two games are on the road -- where the Redskins can stink up somebody else's joint and not have to worry about the financial consequences of mailing in yet another poor performance -- but the final game of the season will take place at home on January 2 against the New York Giants.

And recalling the embarrassment of more than 35,000 empty seats at yesterday's next-to-last home game of the season, team officials are reportedly worried that this season's final home game may reset the modern record for the number of no-shows at an NFL regular season game.

In an effort to stave off league-wide ridicule that would accompany another such "sell out," the Redskins are reportedly pulling out all stops for the last game of the season and scheduling a "free" music concert with international teeny-bop sensation Justin Bieber to take place immediately following the football game.

Bieber is a personal favorite of team owner Dan Snyder –- who is said to be Bieber's "biggest fan" and reportedly calls him “a talented singer and musician, a perennial fan favorite, and someone I can look up to.”

Essentially, one ticket will be good for both events -- but here's the kicker: the stadium gates will be closed and locked at the end of the football game's first quarter -- and won't be opened again until the conclusion of the concert.

According to a team official, "If you want to see Justin Bieber, you're going to have to sit through the Redskins game, and vice versa."

He added, "We're sorry if some people might feel inconvenienced by it all, but we figured it's the only way we might be able to recoup some of the money we've wasted on all of this stale beer and rotten stadium food we have left over from another disappointing season."

Posted by: Vic1 | December 13, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What exactly are the NFL rules for a "sell out"? I know they only count general admission ticket (i.e. - all club, loge, dream seats, and luxury boxes aren't included) ... but aren't the Redskins always selling general admission tix before the game and on game day?

There is no way a $44 or $70 ticket is a club, loge, or dream seat. They must have thousands of unsold general admission tickets available ... and is probably one reason I won't renew my upper level tix next year - I can buy them cheaper online or at the ticket window and avoid PG county taxes and $25 FedEx shipping charges.

Posted by: patrickswright | December 13, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I was there like some of you and yes, it was cold, rainy, and not pretty at all but if I had the choice to do it again, I would. Our team sucks, I am completely aware of it but I am a FAN. That is what a fan does. And considering the amount of people in attendance, the crowd was surprisingly loud compared to the Vikings fiasco. Dan isn't going anywhere. Get over it. All I can do is hope for the best and cheer this team on every opportunity I get. It's easy to cheer for a winning team but it's us diehards that will appreciate it more if and when this team finally turns this things around.

Posted by: Tiffany010 | December 13, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, not necessary to go to a crum-tastic game and put money in Snyder's pockets to be a "real" fan.

And it's alllllll the media's fault, focusing on negative stuff like a terrible team, a terrible game-day experience, a relatively empty stadium that still gets announced as a sell-out.

When will some morons realize, it isn't the job of a vibrant press to be cheerleaders?

Pogues, you're a joke.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 13, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The only people worse than Dan Snyder are the people who continue to line his pockets because they are "true fans." You're not fans, you're idiots.

Snyder, and the players, see you as nothing more than ATM machines. They don't care about you, and they probably never will. That false sense of self-satisfaction you're feeling today about being a true fan and sitting out in the rain all day yesterday? From here, that looks a lot like Danny's false sense of satisfaction for his sellout streak. Get over yourselves.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the previous poster about the sound level. I was surprised by how loud the stadium was given there was no one there.

But, yeah, frustrating game, and not a thing was dry when I got home, but I didn't have to wait for the metro on the way home.

And just FYI - my tickets have been paid for since March - so no going to the game wasn't going to do anything than waste my money.

Posted by: suzannepdc | December 13, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

66,000 is more than some stadiums will hold.

Posted by: Pensfans | December 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I was in the upper deck with my friends and family as usual.

66,000 is quite a large crowd but I was disappointed that so many chose to stay home. Hail!

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | December 13, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I sat in my section 418 seats like I always do. Rain or shine. Hail to the Redskins. I'm glad the players spoke of appreciating the 66k that did show up.

Posted by: destewar | December 13, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I see me!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 13, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting a picture of me Dan...

Posted by: CapsNut | December 13, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I threw the rest of my club level seats in the trash after they got rid of Albert.

That was Shannahan saying we can't win anyway so might as well try and save a few million (ok so Danny was probably pulling these strings as usual)

And thanks to the fan(atics) that showed up for that game, half where Tampa fans.
You have to be a fanatic to show up to that game.

Thank you 66k who showed up at that begin of the game.
Thank you 45k who stayed until halftime
Thank you 22k who stayed until the 3rd quarter.
Thank you 9031 who stayed until the end of the game to watch the continuing saga of garbage football.

Thank you Danny for the great organization you put together for another financially sucessful season.


Posted by: dannyboyrules | December 13, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Way to go stayathome fans. You sure sent a spend happy Snyder a message who wants to see a sucky team on a sucky day? Not me for sure. I didn't watch the game even on the boob tube. Why waste 3 hours watching losers f the game as usual?

McNabb is no different from JC. Still can't throw, can't score nor can he use his Pro-Bowl brains for anything right. Go back to Philly and let Colt Brennan wear the real #5 jersey.

Posted by: memyselfI1 | December 13, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Real Redskins fans would not go to the games and give up their season tix after this year. I got rid of mine 4 years ago and have not regretted it once. Why would anyone continue to invest in something that ALWAYS has a negative return? Stupid people thats who.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 13, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Real Redskins fans would not go to the games and give up their season tix after this year. I got rid of mine 4 years ago and have not regretted it once. Why would anyone continue to invest in something that ALWAYS has a negative return? Stupid people thats who.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 13, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if you choose to stay at home and watch the game on TV more power to you...doesn't necessarily make you any less of a fan...but don't come on here bashing those who went out there to root for 'em. I am not an idiot, nor am I a sheep. If you're fed up, fine: ROOT FOR ANOTHER TEAM. The constant whining week after week has gotten old. Sell your season tix, don't watch them on tv do what you must but shut up already.

Posted by: Tiffany010 | December 13, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

wow. some of those pictures are amazing. how many people are on the waiting list again? :-)

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | December 13, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It would be awesome to see the stadium full of only a handful of Skins fans and loads of Giants fans. Maybe some blackouts next year. That would wake up Danny, Shanny, and Allen.

Posted by: DownTownClown | December 13, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

So what? Take shots at Buffalo, Detroit (either game) or the Meadowlands, and the same thing you'll see. Miserable weather combined with home teams either in free fall or already landed equals lots of no shows. These things happen. Combine that with FedEx Field being a huge pain in the neck to get to, and what do you get? What the pictures show.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | December 14, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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