Home to the Washington Commanders, FedExField isn’t actually in Washington (or the District of Columbia) at all! Located about 20 kilometres from downtown in Landover, Maryland, FedExField is one of the NFL’s trickier stadiums to get to, however there are ample parking and public transport options to get you ready for a big day at the football.
Built just before the turn of the millennium, FedExField was once the NFL’s largest stadium by capacity, but recent improvements to the venue has resulted in a reduced gameday capacity.
Loved by some and hated by others, FedExField features a number of interesting quirks, such as the “Domino Effect” and the “Party Deck”, so read on for your best guide to watching the Commanders in action.
Getting your tickets
Having planned your trip to nation’s capital, head to Sports Where I Am’s page for FedExField to see when the Washington Commanders might be playing while you’re in town. After you’ve chosen a game, it’s the hard part: deciding where to sit.
Where to sit at FedExField
Having once been the NFL’s biggest stadium in terms of seating capacity, there is no shortage of opinions when it comes to where to sit at FedExField. Built in a uniformed and rounded design, the stadium is basically “what you see is what you get”, and while there’s no roof or real protection from the elements, there are pockets of undercover seating if you’re concerned about the weather.
One thing to consider with outdoor stadiums is how the sun will behave throughout the afternoon. At FedExField in winter, the sun will stay low in the south and set to the west, so while the entire stadium will be bathed in sunshine at kickoff, it will affect those on the visitors’ side more as the afternoon goes on. 1
If you like being seated lower down, note that since the team owner Dan Snyder introduced the “Dream Seats” – an additional ring of first-row seats built at the same height as those behind them – a phenomenon called the Domino Effect often occurs. As people seated in the closest rows might not be able to get the best view of game due to those in the Dream Seats, they stand, forcing those behind them to stand… and so on! If you don’t like standing, the 100 section probably isn’t for you!
Be extra careful when booking seats in the 200 section, especially if you’re planning on sitting undercover. Many seats won’t be advertised as having a restricted view, but the support beams for the grandstand above are scattered around the 200 section and may be in your way if you’re seated too far back.
Our top picks? Any seat in the 300 section will deliver the best views, as these are both not too high and not too low and offer an excellent sideline view. If you’re not willing to part with too much cash, the Party Deck standing room sections are also a great way to enjoy a day at the football.
Getting to FedExField
The good news is that Washington has an efficient and affordable public transport system, with daily fares topping out at around US$6. The bad news is that the trek to FedExField from downtown takes the better part of an hour – and that’s before the 20-minute, two kilometre walk from the metro station to the stadium itself.
The stadium itself is served by two nearby stations – Morgan Boulevard on the Blue and Silver Lines, and Landover on the Orange Line. Landover is three miles from the stadium, while Morgan Boulevard is just the one, so unless you’re staying somewhere on the Orange Line closer to Landover, it’s recommended that you jump on either the Blue or Silver line and make your way to Morgan Boulevard.
Parking at FedExField is an option if you’ve already got yourself a hire car, however the prices are some of the most expensive in the country – no doubt due to the stadium’s remote location and the average public transport connections.
You’re looking at around US$60 for a parking space which might still be a decent hike from the stadium. If you’re hell-bent on driving to the game, it might be worth looking for streetside parking a mile or so away – some people offer spaces in their private lots on game day for more reasonable rates.
If you’re travelling in a group, ridesharing is not the worst option in terms of getting to FedExField. Being 18 kilometres from the downtown area of D.C., prices will start at around US$25 each way (not accounting for any surge prices).
However, it’s important to note that ridesharing prices may be astronomically higher after the game due to the increased demand of everyone trying to get home at once. If you’re willing to be patient (or willing to walk away from the crowds) to get a ride, you may avoid paying too much to get home.
What to do before and after the game
Being in a remote location, the dining (and post-victory partying) options are limited at best, as FedExField isn’t located in a built-up urban area.
Having said that, fans can tailgate with the best of them, and considering their parking lots open five hours before kick-off (meaning 8am for a 1pm start), there’s going to be plenty of opportunity for you to get among the action and join a pre-game party.
As a foreigner, the best way to approach this is to walk around the lots (the RedZone lot is renowned for its tailgating) with a case of beer and a smile. Good-natured humour is appreciated if you’re supporting the away team, but if you follow Washington you shouldn’t have many problems. Failing anything else, just work the foreign accent and ‘free beer’ angle and you should be welcomed with open arms!
Watching a game at FedExField
FedExField is one of the NFL’s largest stadiums in terms of capacity, so the precinct will be buzzing before and after games. You’ll also find that travelling teams have decent crowd representation due to the transient nature of work in the capital city – many workers relocate from their home towns or states to come and work in government.
One thing to be wary about is discussing the team’s former name – the Redskins – and logo, which was a sensitive issue at the best of times. It’s best to probably avoid the topic while you’re at the game.
As with most major stadiums around the United States, the food offering is pretty standard, though FedExField does feature two Ben’s Chili Bowl locations, a landmark Washington chain which serves excellent chili dogs and local hotdogs called “half smokes”.
FedExField also stocks beers from local Maryland brewery Flying Dog, which makes an excellent IPA called Snake Dog among its other offerings. Flying Dog is sold throughout the stadium and shouldn’t be hard to find. Keep an eye out for their cool can designs.
Taking a stadium tour
Tours of FedExField are offered at 11am on weekdays, and cost US$20 for an adult.
Find out more details here.
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