When the then-Washington Redskins played their final NFL game at RFK Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 22, 1996, there was sadness amongst longtime fans.
One, the team was leaving the District of Columbia to play in Prince Georges’s County, Maryland. It was strange for Washington’s NFL not to play home games in D.C.
However, there was hope that the new stadium, initially named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium after the team’s legendary owner, would create a new home-field advantage for the future due to its size. The new stadium would hold around 80,000 seats, making it the largest in the NFL.
Unfortunately, things didn’t play out as envisioned and FedEx Field — the name since owner Dan Snyder sold the naming rights in 1999 — has routinely been called the worst stadium in the NFL.
The reasons for FedEx Field’s issues are endless. Much of it was due to Snyder, but not all of it. The location, traffic, parking, fan experience, etc. The stadium has been a nightmare, coinciding with plenty of bad football through the years.
SeatGeek, a prominent ticket platform that sells tickets for live events, has a fan-driven model it uses for stadium guides in different professional sports. To determine how each stadium ranks, SeatGeek asked 3,200 fans what they look forward to at each home game.
As expected, FedEx Field didn’t fare too well.
There are three categories in which stadiums are judged. Here is the list and where Washington ranked on each:
Atmosphere: 3.0 [ranked 32 of 32]
Food: 2.9 [ranked 32 of 32]
Bathrooms: 3.2 [ranked 30 of 32]
Hey, at least the bathrooms aren’t the worst.
In all seriousness, when Josh Harris takes over as Washington’s next owner — if the deal is finalized and he isn’t outbid at the last second — his No. 1 priority will be landing a new stadium. Fortunately, Harris and his partners are a capable group that should be able to get the job done.
Unfortunately for Washington fans, the franchise is bound to FedEx Field until at least 2027. But perhaps, a new ownership group can continue to make more positive, fan-friendly improvements until that time. There were positive developments in this area in 2022 under team president Jason Wright and his group.