At one point, FedEx Field was the largest stadium in the NFL. In recent years, however, that total has been lowered drastically. Last season, 8,000 seats were removed in the upper deck behind each end zone. This season, even more will be taken away.
According to a report from The Washington Post, the Redskins will remove 4,000 seats from FedEx Field, bringing the total to 79,000 seats, down 12,000 since 2010, when the stadium boasted a capacity of 91,000. The plan, according to Mike Jones and Ovetta Wiggins, is to "make room for the completion of an upper level 'party deck' standing room area, and to renovate the stadium’s fifth-floor suite areas."
“They will wind up with 79,000 seats, which is way down from their peak,” Samuel Wynkoop, director of Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources, said in the article. “This is actually a net reduction, but it should be a better fan experience.”
"A better fan experience"? Hog Haven's Kevin Ewoldt is not buying that:
The Redskins of course paint this as another "Enhancement." I wish I was there in the Redskins marketing office to advise them to tell fans and the media the truth, but in a pro-Redskins manner,
"The Redskins team has not played to the Championship level we expect the last several years and given the current state of the economy, we understand some fans' reluctance to juggle the cost of their tickets with family expenses. A 91,000 seat stadium is not practical for any NFL team, and we're making hard strides to correct that. We plan on removing seats to ensure Fedex Field is a game dominated by our Redskins faithful."
Instead, replacing unsold seats with SROs is another way to to squeeze in more people on the cheap who will spend on average $60 a head in beer and food. Assuming these fans are Redskins fans is laughable. The result? More fights, more frustration, and much poorer of an experience.
The 'Skins have won seven home games (of 24 possible) since the beginning of the 2009-10 regular season, so perhaps they are doing their fans a favor. Fewer seats, fewer fans, less inevitable frustration.
Adam Vingan is co-founder and editor of Kings Of Leonsis, a Caps-centric blog, and is the Capitals Editor for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_KOL and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.