ASHBURN — The Washington Commanders are expecting a near sellout for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. But that will mean fewer fans in the seats than in previous years — almost 30,000 fewer than at FedEx Field’s peak.
The Commanders again reduced capacity at FedEx Field this season, reducing the figure from 67,617 to 62,000-63,000. A team spokesperson told The Washington Times that the franchise was still working out the final number, but the reduction was made after changes to the club level and as the team turned suites into offices for the team’s business department.
Washington has reduced FedEx Field’s capacity over the years as the once-proud franchise has struggled to recapture its glory days.
FedEx Field opened in 1997 with a capacity of 80,116. Owner Dan Snyder added thousands of seats in the years after buying the team in 1999 — expanding the stadium’s capacity to as much as 91,704 from 2005 to 2010.
In 2015, the stadium’s capacity reached 82,000, and it has continued to be scaled down since then.
The Commanders ranked second-to-last in attendance last season, averaging just 52,751 fans per home game. Washington drew 58,192 in its home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11.
Washington is in the hunt for a new stadium and has proposed a 55,000-seat venue — the smallest in the NFL.
• Matthew Paras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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