Around the District, it isn’t hard to find someone who used to be a diehard Washington Redskins fan but stopped caring about the team as closely as previous years. People have stopped showing up to FedEx Field in droves, with thousands of empty seats on game days. Even season-ticket holders like Paul Homon admitted they’ve become increasingly apathetic to the results on the field.
“I was the type of guy if they lost, I was mad until Wednesday,” Homon said in December. “Now, I go home and be like, ‘Whatever.’”
It’s a problem for the Redskins — one new coach Ron Rivera seems to understand.
“The fan base is very strong,” Rivera said. “It’s been a little dormant. We got to bring it back. I mean, this one of the original (franchises), 1932. Let’s be realistic that we’ve got to do our part and we’ve got to give folks a reason to come out and support us.”
Rivera has helped engineer a turnaround before. With the Carolina Panthers, Rivera inherited a 2-14 team in 2011 and made the Super Bowl in 2015.
Last year, the Redskins ranked 20th in attendance with an average of 65,488 fans per game. While that was a 7.3% increase from 2018, 12 of the 14 least-attended games in FedEx Field history have happened over the last two years.
Rivera called on fans to show up to games.
“The truth is, we can’t do it ourselves,” Rivera said. “We need them to be part of what we’re trying to build. We need them to be part of the culture we’re trying to establish, get back to the winning ways.
“I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited about the challenge.”
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