The Washington Redskins are again reducing the size of FedEx Field.
The team last month received approval from the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources to remove 4,000 additional seats. The team said in its application to the department that the seats were being removed to make room for the completion of an upper level “party deck” standing room area, and to renovate the stadium’s fifth-floor suite areas.
The Redskins in 2010 said FedEx had a capacity of more than 91,000, but that was lowered to around 83,000 last season after the team removed seats from the end zone areas of both upper decks. With the latest renovations, the stadium’s capacity will be 79,000, according to Samuel Wynkoop, the director of Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources.
“They will wind up with 79,000 seats, which is way down from their peak,” he said. “This is actually a net reduction, but it should be a better fan experience.”
The total capacity may exceed 79,000 when the tickets sold for the party decks are accounted for, and it’s expected that the Redskins will offer between 4,000 and 5,000 standing-room tickets per game, according to one person with knowledge of the Redskins plans who spoke on condition of anonmyity.
The Redskins last season had an average attendance of just more than 76,000 people, according to NFL attendance figures.
The Redskins didn’t immediately respond to requests for further information on the project.
A senior Redskins official said last summer that the team had been unable to sell tickets for the thousands of seats it had removed from FedEx Field in 2011. The Redskins also said the seats were being removed to make the stadium more fan-friendly.
The plan last season was to offer lower-priced standing-room-only tickets, similar to those offered by the Dallas Cowboys, who charge around $30 per party deck ticket.
The Redskins party decks are to feature tables for fans to sit or stand around while watching the game, according to the team. Wynkoop said that tickets for the party decks will be assigned by table.
The suite renovation plans will expand the stadium’s capacity to 62 suites, which feature a total of 1,273 seats, and five lounge areas that will accommodate another 200 people for a total capacity of 1,473 occupants, according to the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources office.