December 15, 2002

Disastro-Turf: One Washington writer gives his thoughts on: How the Redskins gameday experience has been decimated in recent years; How FedEx Field is more of a monolithic doughnut then a stadium; and how Daniel Snyder is to blame for it all. [more inside]

posted by bcb2k2 to football at 11:43 PM - 7 comments

I just ran across this article, and wondered if there had been any backlash in other cities with newer stadiums. Living in the D.C. area (and visiting this stadium numerous times), I know of the headaches caused by this stadium and the poor policies surrounding it. I know that there was some outcry over Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati when it was being built (and still outcry for how bad the resident team is). Any others?

posted by bcb2k2 at 11:51 PM on December 15, 2002

As far as asthetics go, Cooke could have done more -- I like the Heinz Field approach in Pittsburgh -- but there's only so much you're going to do after you pass the 70,000 mark in terms of capacity. The place in Denver is probably the only one (out of 10 in that category) that really seemed to try. People don't complain much about Giants Stadium, at least not to the point where the facility becomes notorious. And inside FedEx, it doesn't look that much different than the former PsiNet Stadium in Baltimore. At the end of the day, very few football parks offer breathtaking city views -- that space usually taken up by like-minded fans. Moreover, people simply want to booze it up and watch football. That said, the main task of a "monolithic doughnut" stadium in the 'burbs is to be like Trent Dilfer in the Ravens' Super Bowl run -- deliver the basics and don't make my experience a pain in the ass. Timely and reasonably affordable access to the stadium should be one of the criteria, but I can't imagine a worse set-up for getting into a stadium than the one at FedEx. For that $25, the walk to the shuttle from your car is longer than what would be the walk from your car to the actual stadium at a lot of places. Compare that with Baltimore, where light rail gets you to the stadium for $1.35.

posted by jackhererra at 07:51 AM on December 16, 2002

An excellent read. The worry for me is that the English Premiership seems to try and copy the NFL, at least in it's crass commercialism. I dread the day that attending a Premiership match becomes such a soulless, depressing experience.

posted by salmacis at 09:57 AM on December 16, 2002

The article is spot on, but overlooks the fact that if the Redskins ever become good, all will be forgiven. You don't hear too many bad things about George Steinbrenner lately...

posted by Mookieproof at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2002

I was going to make the same point, Mookieproof. Texas Stadium has the charisma -- and some of the smell -- of a bus terminal urinal that hasn't been cleaned since Reagan was president. Yet it's still a terrific place to see a game when the Cowboys are good. Few of FedEx Field's problems would be noticed if the team was winning.

posted by rcade at 01:10 PM on December 16, 2002

Yes, winning does seem to cure the ills of any team. Sometimes to extremes...Take this year's Florida Gators for example. When they beat the Volunteers and Bulldogs, the fans were ecstatic. When they lost to the Hurricanes and Seminoles, the (well, some) fans were blood-thirsty for Zook. Winning will mask any problems, be they salary cap, facilities, or just plain skill-level related. Like, when I thought my Jags were a good team after beating the Eagles earlier this year...not that I'm bitter or anything.

posted by bcb2k2 at 02:53 PM on December 16, 2002

People don't complain much about Giants Stadium, at least not to the point where the facility becomes notorious. I wish I remember where I had seen it, but I dimly recall reading that Giants Stadium has served, in many respects, as a "model" for the construction of later football-only stadiums -- at least in terms of sightlines, fan amenities, team facilites, etc. It only becomes notorious when there's snow and bad football, mind you... ;-)

posted by PeteyStock at 05:34 PM on December 16, 2002

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