The Redskins are in the process of looking for a place to build a new stadium while simultaneously shrinking their current facility.
Last August owner Dan Snyder said that the team had done preliminary work on finding a site for a stadium to replace FedEx Field, which opened in 1997, and designing the new facility. According to team president Bruce Allen the process is ongoing.
“We’ve had conversations with Maryland and Virginia and DC and it’s in preliminary stages but we like where it’s going,” Allen said on Monday at the team’s charity golf tournament.
Earlier this year there were some reports that Virginia had been the most aggressive of the local government entities in trying to lure the Redskins. But it is very early in the process. As Allen noted, the lease at FedEx Field is not up until 2027 so there appears to be time for everyone to get involved.
Meanwhile the Redskins are in the process of removing seats from FedEx Field for the third time in five seasons, according to the Washington Post. The last several rows of seats in some upper deck sections have been taken out since last season ended. The Post estimates that “thousands” of seats have been removed.
The peak capacity for the stadium was over 91,000 from 2005-2010, making it the NFL’s largest venue. But some upper deck sections were removed after the 2011 season and a year later other high altitude seats were taken out and some standing space was created.
The team told the Post that the latest seat removal was “part of an overall plan based on season ticket holder feedback,” and that details will follow.
The shrinking of the stadium makes sense during an era when fans are finding it more entertaining to watch games on their high-definition TVs with surround sound and enjoy cheap refreshments rather than fighting traffic and paying inflated prices for food and beverage. It is likely that the new stadium will be closer to the capacity of RFK Stadium, which held around 53,000, than that of the bloated FedEx Field.