A top Redskins official said the team had been unable to sell season tickets for the thousands of seats it removed from FedEx Field this summer, a rare admission by the franchise that demand for its in-stadium product has declined according to Dan Steinberg and Mike Jones of the Washington Post.
Lon Rosenberg, the vice president of operations at FedEx Field, said in a radio interview Wednesday that the approximately 10,000 removed upper deck seats had been offered to fans on the team’s season ticket waiting list, and that “these are seats that they were not wanting to buy.”
In a telephone interview Thursday, Rosenberg described the removed seats as “the least desirable seats in the stadium,” but added that the decision to remove the seats “has nothing to do with ticket sales.”
“It’s about making a more fan-friendly experience on game days,” he said. “There will be less traffic, shorter lines and and again, enable us to better serve our fans.”
Rosenberg estimated that the capacity of FedEx Field for the 2011 season will be around 82,000 — down from 91,704, which had made it the second-largest capacity in the NFL.
When the team began removing seats in the 400 levels of both end zones this spring, the Redskins published a story on their official Web site saying they would be replaced by standing-room only party decks that would offer fans a different in-game experience. The story called the decks “another major upgrade” that were expected to be completed “for the start of the 2012 season.”
But Rosenberg said the team hasn’t decided what, if anything, will replace the end zone seats, explaining that the impetus behind the project was to ease traffic congestion and lines at concession stands and bathrooms at the stadium in Landover.