After you exit the Beltway and approach the stadium on one of three six-lane roads paid for with the state funds, you are directed either to closer-in, pre-paid parking areas (for those with more expensive seats and parking passes hanging from car mirrors) or to $15 day lots. In all, there are 23,000 parking spaces, bordered by manicured lawns and trees, with burgundy-and-gold banners hanging from lampposts. (Others will arrive by Metro buses from the Addison Road or Landover Metro stations.)
There also are several hundred parking spaces for the disabled and a tunnel for them that leads from the parking lot to a northeast elevator tower.
As you step out of your car, you are greeted by music and whiffs of cooking from roving concession carts and barbecue pits, placed in the lots to encourage tailgate parties. Tree-lined pathways with other concessions then funnel fans toward the stadium.
"We want people to know they've entered Redskin-land," said Jeff Klein, vice president and stadium manager. Thus there is a 120-foot-wide concrete apron, known as The Plaza, that serves as a welcome mat immediately surrounding the stadium. About a dozen tents are set up on the southwest side of The Plaza for pre-game corporate entertainment.
Entered through eight gates, the stadium has six levels, excluding underground facilities housing locker rooms, security personnel and other stadium operations. For the disabled, the stadium can accommodate as many as 790 patrons in wheelchairs, plus 790 companions. Other seating is available for persons with less restrictive mobility needs.
Each of the six levels contains much for fan comfort, viewing, eating, drinking or other desires:
GEORGE PRESTON MARSHALL LEVEL: The first, general-seating level, named for the team's original owner, has 27,600 seats costing $40 to $60 a game, or $400 to $600 for 10 home games a year, which includes two pre-season contests.