Washington Commanders’ stadium plan calls for 55,000 seats, smallest in the NFL

Washington Football Team Announces Name Change to Washington Commanders
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From 2004 to 2010, Washington had the largest seating capacity in the NFL, with more than 91,000 seats at FedEx Field. But as the team has struggled on the field and alienated fans with off-field controversy, FedEx Field renovations have consistently reduced the number of seats, as the team couldn’t fill the stadium. And now the team is planning a new stadium that would be smaller still.

The Commanders are currently proposing a new stadium in Virginia that would have just 55,000 seats, making it the smallest in the NFL, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Although nothing is finalized with the team’s new stadium, Commanders President Jason Wright acknowledged that the Commanders are likely to end up playing in the smallest stadium in the league.

“We are much more likely to build the smallest venue in the NFL than the largest,” he told the Virginia Mercury.

A 55,000-seat stadium would be too small to host a Super Bowl and some of the other major events that NFL stadiums attract, but Washington sounds set on going in the opposite direction after once leading the league in attendance.

54 responses to “Washington Commanders’ stadium plan calls for 55,000 seats, smallest in the NFL

  1. Between their record over the last 30 years, to the name change and to the controversies they wouldn’t be able to sell that out.

  2. That really is small capacity. At one time such a passionate fan base and the old stadium RFK was so loud and proud. What has happened to this franchise?!?!?
    If I were a ticket holding fan living in Maryland I wouldn’t be too happy with the team moving to VA. Probably going to have new ownership before long also which could turn the franchise around.

  3. Does that 55k include working benches for opposing teams or should they continue to bring their own place to sit?

  4. Eventually we will get to the point where the games will be played in one or a few locations with no fans present. It will be a totally television/media presentation. Think about what the USFL is currently doing.

  5. It’s good that they know where they stand. A small mini-stadium won’t look as empty.

  6. Your comment is awaiting censorship. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved by our liberal censors says:

    FedEx field is still viable. So if Snyder wants a new stadium just to have a new stadium, why go this route? We know they cant sell out because the team is awful, cuz the owner is awful, etc. And obviously they know they will never compete because the owner is awful. But he might as well build a stadium with the minimum number of seats that can host a SB, with a dome so that he can host a SB. Only way the lombardi will ever find itself on the redskins home turf…

  7. Oh Roger, please step in and force Dan to sell. It’s for everyone’s own good. Team. Fans. NFL.

  8. Steve Biscotti and the Raven’s marketing team will have a field day over this decision.Just a matter of time before the Ravens rightfully take over the Maryland DC suburbs.

  9. They are finally admitting that the first 55,000 “seats” which are luxury suits and premium locations for high priced tickets are all that matter and that Joe Plumber in the nose bleed section doesn’t matter or warrant the cost of a larger stadium.

  10. As per usual, the laughing stock of the NFL or in fact all pro sports. #CanTheDan

  11. Buffalo will have 62,000. Small stadiums are the new trend, because NFL owners figured out it’s a way to keep demand artificially inflated for expensive club seats, even in down years.

    And who sits in those expensive club seats? Wealthier fans that spend on concessions and officially-licensed merchandise. As with anything the NFL does, it’s about revenue maximization.

  12. The 2 areas don’t make sense. The metro doesn’t go out to Sterling and there’s no highway in Sterling. Woodbridge was turned into the hood after they built FedEx field and national harbor. No thanks to either

  13. This idea makes absolutely zero sense. Makes me think this story is put out by the team, purely intended to create a diversion to what they are actually trying to do. All of the focus on Virginia lately, but most people reporting on it locally seem to think it will end up back in Maryland.

  14. This franchise really just needs to completely start over. New owner, new city, new colors, and a do over with the whole “Commanders name.” This is the London franchise opportunity the NFL has been wanting.

  15. But don’t fret, Dan will make up for the smaller size with the most expensive tickets in the NFL

  16. The route to take when you haven’t been able to fill a stadium in 24 years.

  17. How many of those Washington “fans” are corporate season ticket holders or ticket brokers that are not true Washington fans? This is a problem.

  18. The Washington DC football franchise transition to an XFL team is almost complete.

  19. Smaller stadiums make for a better fan experience. With all the TV money, ticket sales are a less important revenue stream anyway.

  20. I hope Dan Snyder never sells. He drove a proud franchise right into a ditch.

  21. The first reaction to the team name was obviously negative, but you would expect that over time just like with anything else, the name would become more familiar and acceptable. It hasn’t. Spoke of throughout the draft, on sports radio, on television, and in print these past few months, the name is still like nails on a chalkboard. It just doesn’t sound right. It sounds like a USFL name or a made up name to avoid trademark infringement. It’s awful. How can any fan take pride in a name like Commanders? It’s a colossal failure and on pattern with so many ownership mistakes these past 20-25 years. Sad really. Now they are talking a 55,000 seat stadium. That might be fine for a smaller market like Jacksonville or Green Bay, maybe Cincinnati. An intimate experience for a city that isn’t competing for hosting championships. But in Washington? The nations capital? Why build a stadium for effectively one use? Just another poor decision.

  22. Only 55,000? Surprising, given Snyder’s love of milking every last dollar from parking and concessions. The really big money is in the luxury boxes and premium seating, and you’d much rather have a scarcity of tickets than a glut of tickets. One of the consequences of broadcasting the games in HD and stereo to an audience that usually watches on a big screen is some degree of obsolescence of venues larger than about 75,000 seats. Hard to sell those nosebleed and corner/end zone seats when the team is bad and fans can watch the games before and after the home team’s game on TV, instead of sitting in slow-moving traffic.

  23. It actually seems about right, because relocating the stadium 40 miles down !-95 to BF Virginia ensures that 50% of the fan base will never attend another game.

  24. Lambeau Field holds over 81,000. It has been a sell out for over 40 years, with a season ticket waiting list over 100,000. If Washington was a winner, it could build a 100,000 seat place and not worry.

  25. As the NFL continues to make the hard and very blatant drive to make live viewing of games less friendly to fans so to accommodate more ways to capture TV revenue, people might wonder in a few years if 55k was too big for a new stadium.

    The one good thing for Washington fans is the past acts of letting teams sell PSLs, then working adversely against those customers should make it impossible for Snyder and crooks to do the same here.

  26. On the bright side, that’s less seats to tarp over. Snyder should be grateful there is no relegation in the NFL.

  27. When you have 75,000 seats, and don’t sell them, it looks bad on TV and it hurts the value of the tickets.

    When you have 55,000 seats, and sell them out- it looks better on tv, and you can charge a premium for the seats, as there is more competition for the limited number of seats. They will probably make more money this way….

  28. Rodger maybe a genius growing the league revenue ,but he’s really screwed the pouch keeping Snyder in check. Between the two of them , they’ve decimated a once proud Washington franchise. The once proud HOGS don’t approve of anything they’ve done.

  29. Maybe, just maybe, the Commanders foresee that people are beginning to get tired of high ticket and concession prices and feel that their money can be better spent elsewhere.

  30. Less seats means more expensive “premium” seats. But seriously, who would go to a game to root for a team named “Commanders”?!?!

  31. Yep Washington has idiots at every level starting with the owner. Hey I know let’s plan to be horrible and that no one will want to attend our games. Hey let’s pick the dumbest name we can. Hey let’s move far away from Washington. LOL. How about getting smart football people picking well in the draft along with the owner not sticking his nose into places it doesn’t belong?

  32. I did not grow up as a Commanders fan. When they changed the name, they lost me.

  33. lonespeed says:
    June 1, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Now they are talking a 55,000 seat stadium. That might be fine for a smaller market like Jacksonville or Green Bay, maybe Cincinnati.

    Green Bay? The Packers have sold out 81,000+ seats for as long as anyone can remember and have tens of thousands on the season ticket waiting list.

  34. I’ve been to Green Bay many times. There is nothing else in the area other than the Packers. In addition, when teams come to play the packers, they don’t even stay in Green Bay – they stay in Appleton – which is 50 miles away.

    gibson45 says:
    June 1, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Green Bay? The Packers have sold out 81,000+ seats for as long as anyone can remember and have tens of thousands on the season ticket waiting list.

  35. Their current stadium is 25 years old and was built at a cost (1997 dollars) of $250m. I would not be a very happy tax payer if that’s who the new stadium is being paid by. JKC paid much of the cost of Fed Ex field, but not the cost of all of the infrastructure. What a waste.

  36. nyfootballgiants says:
    June 1, 2022 at 11:01 am
    I’ve been to Green Bay many times. There is nothing else in the area other than the Packers. In addition, when teams come to play the packers, they don’t even stay in Green Bay – they stay in Appleton – which is 50 miles away.

    The distance from Green Bay to Appleton is 35 miles via I-41. The Packers actually stay in Appleton the night prior to games. It is quite common for visiting teams across the NFL to stay just outside of the game location city.

    There are numerous activities in the area. Plenty of restaurants and hotels. I think it is doubtful that you have ever been to Green Bay.

  37. I like this idea. I quit going to games in person 12 years ago, mostly because I’m old and cranky now and PREFER to watch on TV.

  38. It’s a strange way to deal with this situation. It’s like they haven’t equated winning with a full stadium and are now just planning on failure as the business model.

  39. This isn’t necessarily an indictment of Snyder but of where all sports are headed. Would you rather watch the game on your big-screen 4K TV with all manner of angles, replays and the ability to catch scores on other games or sit next to some slob spilling beer on you with an ant’s view of the action! Stadiums with bigger capacity have to be able to carry year-round activities within major metropolitan areas. No where Snyder builds this stadium will get that kind of draw. So, with the two factors, it makes sense to make it smaller since that’s the trend anyhow! Large stadiums will be the exception, not the rule in the future.

  40. Lousy owner drives away 36,000 customers in less than 20 years.
    Virginia should insist on a change of ownership before they build anything for this team.

  41. With 55k seats and revenue due to the rest of the league, this means the WTF will have the highest ticket prices in the NFL.

  42. I hear the rationale behind the Woodbridge location is that it will take the Philly fans three days to drive home.

  43. The home viewing experience has gotten better .No lines , no drunken fans , no traffic and of course no high ticket prices .Plus I would rather stay home and watch multiple games .

  44. As bad as the traffic is getting to the current stadium in MD, it’s a walk in the park compared to what awaits them if they build in the projected location in VA south of DC – 30 miles south. The traffic in that part of VA is a nightmare almost 24 hours a day, and I-95, the only major highway, is a parking lot even on Sundays.

    They also have an option on land near Dulles airport in VA that is a lot more accessible by highway and subway (elevated), and is also close to the current team training location. But the county government there is a lot less friendly to Snyder’s political leanings, and it would not be a slam dunk. Snyder owns the land in MD where the current stadium is built, so he can afford to play one jurisdiction agains the other (unless he is forced out is owner, which will happen when Hades freezes over, given his scorched earth approach to everything).

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