Home to the Washington Redskins, FedEx Field was officially opened on September 14th, 1997. At the time, it was named in honor of the late owner of the team, Jack Kent Cooke. The cost to build this stadium was approximately $250 million dollars, not including a highway exit dedicated to the facility.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that FedEx Field is much younger than RFK Stadium – the former home of the Redskins – fans of the team consider the older field a much better place to watch football. In fact, a Sports Illustrated survey published on November 2007 ranked FedEx Field near the bottom, 28th out of all the NFL stadiums.
The overall disapproval of the facilities, along with issues such as its location, have caused the current owner, Daniel Snyder, to meet with officials from Washington and Virginia state to discuss the potential of a brand new football field. One of the main issues is the fact that the nearest public transit option to reach the stadium is one mile away from the gate. This requires a 20-minute walk for those who don’t drive, which is especially punishing for fans during the winter.
Washington Redskins Stadium
Fans aren’t the only ones frustrated with FedEx Field. The playing surface was recently redone due to complaints about the quality of the grass, which was replaced with Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass supported by a brand new drainage system.
During the past five years, the Redskins have only one season with a winning record, in which they went 5-3 at home. Otherwise, home field advantage hasn’t mattered very much, as their 14-26 home record during this span indicates.
One of the more controversial additions to FedEx Field is the relatively recent addition of “dream seats”, which are premium seats were installed in front of what used to be the first row. These dream seats are closer to the field, but they’re low enough to require guests to stand in order to see over the players on the sidelines, which blocks the view of people behind the dream seats, forcing them to stand as well. Another recent controversy involved the removal of some of the less expensive seats in the stadium. According to ownership, up to 6,000 cheap seats were removed in order to appease season ticket holders.
Date Opened: Sept. 14th, 1997
Construction Cost: $250.5 million
Capacity Attendance: 75,000
Playing Surface: Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass
Previous Washington Redskins Stadium
Braves Field; Fenway Park; Griffith Stadium; RFK Stadium
Other Major Events
An annual college football tradition, the Prince George’s Classic is hosted at FedEx Field. In 2004, the Black Coaches Association Classic between the USC Trojans and the Virginia Tech Hokies took place at this facility. The 112th matchup between the Army and Navy football teams happened at FedEx during winter 2011, continuing a tradition that was established in 1980.
Despite the fact that D.C. United chose RFK Stadium, a variety of international soccer matches have occurred at FedEx Field. One of the most recent events on this field was the International Champions Cup between Inter Milan and Manchester United, which was settled by shootout after regulation ended in a nil-nil draw. F.C. Barcelona played against Manchester United on July 30th, 2001, drawing a record crowd for soccer in the D.C. area.