The Redskins’ listed attendance has been fine this season. Before Sunday’s meeting with the Chiefs, they were averaging 80,184 fans a game, which was good for third in the NFL, behind only the Cowboys and Giants.
And the crowds at most games have been admirable, even as the team drifted out of playoff consideration, and then out of reputable professional football team consideration.
And Sunday’s weather was miserable. It was cold, and snowy, and then rainy, and there were forecasts of ice and sleet and freezing rain. I wouldn’t blame anyone for staying home when the team is this bad. Heck, I wouldn’t have blamed anyone from staying home in those conditions even if the team were great.
But facts are facts, and the fact is, the announced attendance for Sunday’s disaster — 56,247 — was the lowest of any regular-season game since FedEx Field opened in 1997.
I went back through all the home games since then, and found just nine times the Redskins announced an attendance of less than 70,000. But they had never dipped below 61,000 before Sunday. And bear in mind that many of these numbers came before the stadium’s various expansions.
Here were the previous lows, from lowest to highest.
1. Jan. 6, 2002, a 20-17 win over Arizona (61,721)
2. Dec. 24, 2000 a 20-3 win over Arizona (65,711)
3. Dec. 6, 1998, a 24-20 win over San Diego (65,713)
4. Dec. 12, 2010 a 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay (66,124)
5. Dec. 19, 1998, a 20-16 win over Tampa Bay (66,309)
6. Nov. 22, 1998, a 45-42 loss to Arizona (66,435)
7. Nov. 15, 1998 a 28-3 win over Philadelphia (67,704)
8. Nov. 1, 1998, a 21-14 win over the Giants (67,976)
9. Dec. 24, 2011 33-26 loss to Minnesota (68,370)