WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins are eliminated from the playoffs and local interest in the team is in free-fall.
Don’t be surprised if the stands at FedExField look sparsely populated this week, as the Redskins (5-8) having nothing to play for and the Cardinals (6-7) are on the brink of elimination (a loss to the Redskins or a win by either the Falcons or Seahawks will seal Arizona’s fate).
If the Cardinals were a better team, there’s a chance that Arizona fans might take over the stadium. Instead, it looks like no one is planning to take over the stadium:
It has been years since FedExField offered its team any real home-field advantage. Sure, there have been seasons in which certain games were a raucous, hostile environment, like during the 2012 push to the playoffs.
But more recently, the team’s consecutive home sellout streak has felt more technical than actual. The streak is based on tickets sold in advance, not the number of fans through the turnstiles. Instead, many tickets are bought up last minute or left to rot on the second-hand market, like the $10 tickets listed above.
In 2017, the Redskins came in with high expectations, which helps to explain the 457,490 tickets purchased through the first six home games of the season. But with two meaningless games to go, the Redskins’ 11th ranked home attendance is likely to drop.
The team is already assured of not reaching last year’s 626,432 home attendance figure, needing to average 84,471 fans in the next two weeks. That wouldn’t happen even if the team paid people to attend, as it also exceeds the stadium’s sitting capacity of 82,000.
The silver lining in all of this is that at least the beleaguered Redskins fans who do come on Sunday won’t have to listen to chants from the opposing teams, like this from Vikings fans:
Just remember, Redskins fans: it could always be worse.