Fans noticeably absent at Commanders training camp

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Fans noticeably absent at Commanders training camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Back in the day, training camp practices for NFL teams used to be open to anyone who wanted to come to watch, for free. I recall covering open Eagles practices at Lehigh where attendance would easily rise to more than 10,000 fans in a given day. To watch practice!

Now teams close off many of their practices almost completely to fans. The Eagles have just one practice completely open to the public this preseason (August 7), and tickets are $10 apiece.

The Washington Commanders still offer free admission to their training camp practices in Ashburn, Virginia. But at least a few pictures show that it’s not worth the trip, even for free.

You can safely fit all of the fans in those photos in one school bus.

The team gives out tickets to fans to watch training camp via a lottery system. The tickets are free. Fans who are selected are contacted by the team and asked to confirm that they will attend. If not, those tickets are given to fans on the team’s standby list.

While we don’t know how many tickets the Commanders dole out per day, this can’t be all of them, can it?

I asked a Commanders reporter from our sister station, NBC Sports Washington, if these pictures were accurate, and if so, are they normal? Just how many fans came to watch the team today?

The response: between 50 and 100 fans were there to watch the Commanders practice.

You could chalk this up to the Commanders maybe not awarding a ton of tickets to fans to watch practice. Maybe they already had plans to go to the beach, or the mountains.

It could also be that fans aren’t super-jazzed about a team quarterbacked by a guy who’s been traded twice in less than a calendar year.

Look at it this way: no lines for the porta-potties!