Chapter 6, Page 212

EORGE ALLEN LEVEL: The fifth level, named for the late Redskins coach of the 1970s, has 66 more luxury suites, plus the semi-private, heated and air-conditioned loge areas at the end zones, also accessed by elevators. The 1,400 loge seats, set in just three rows, are serviced by cash buffets and private restrooms a few feet to the rear.

PETE ROZELLE LEVEL: The uppermost section, commemorating the late NFL commissioner, is reached by ramps and holds 32,000 stadium seats, also costing $40 to $60 a game, or $400 to $600 for the season. The 50-foot-wide concourse that rings the upper level has similar attractions to those on the lowest level, except for the Redskins Hall of Fame and the end-zone bars.

All of the seats look out on one of the most modern playing fields in football, with a surface of highbred Bermuda turf. Beneath the surface are systems to both drain excess water from the field and ensure that the turf is nonetheless watered properly. Miles of perforated plastic pipes about a foot underground remove the excess water. The center of the field also is an imperceptible nine inches higher than each sideline to help with drainage. And more miles of irrigation pipes feed other water at controlled levels to the turf.

In addition, a 3/4-inch-wide steel pipe every six inches carries a liquid that is heated and pumped from underneath the stadium to prevent the field from freezing.

"One of [Cooke's] biggest things was his concern about the view of the field," Lynch said. "He wanted to make sure that increasing the volume of seating would not in any way hurt people's view of the field."

In fact, the stadium, whose end zones face North and South, is designed so that neither team benefits from exposure to the sun, according to Lynch. The high upper level makes it difficult for the afternoon sun to creep onto the field.

"We built the stadium so that when either team is looking up for a ball, the sun is not shining from the other end zone. And when there's a punt, you aren't going to lose it in the sun." For night games, 572 metal halide lamps, each 1500 watts, light the field.

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Other Pages in Chapter 6:
206, 207, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213

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