LANDOVER, MD - A new FedEx Field parking lot will be opened for thousands of Washington Redskins fans with the onset of the 2009 season, the team announced today. Additionally, new post-game traffic patterns and parking policies will be implemented to improve traffic flow in parking lots and on stadium roads.
"We expect to have more tailgaters than ever," said Mitch Gershman, the Redskins Chief Operating Officer. "Those who want to meet with their friends will have more space, and those who want to simply park will find it easier to do so."
Opening of the new Gray lot off of Landover Road will now allow all fans with season parking the ability to park in lots on FedEx Field property, within sight and walking distance of the stadium. Nearly 3,000 new parking spaces were added to the stadium property.
The new lot was opened and traffic patterns revised after extensive review by an outside consulting firm, as well as benchmarking with other major stadiums around the country.
The most significant new procedure will have parking attendants directing fans who wish to tailgate in more than one space to the back of lots, where they will be allowed to occupy two spaces until required for additional vehicles. Fans who wish to only park, or tailgate within their single parking spot, will be directed to the front of lots, filling the lot from front to back. Tailgating is permitted in all lots, except Platinum. Platinum lot parkers who choose to tailgate will be provided passes for Purple lots.
"Everyone who wants to tailgate should be able to tailgate. We absolutely believe that," Gershman said. "This is designed to improve the experience for fans who want to tailgate."
"Our outside consultant analyzed the flow on roads and in the parking lots at FedEx Field, with cameras recording the traffic patterns. What we found was that when tailgaters spread into multiple spaces, it caused congestion in the lots, and resulted in inconvenience to everyone - the fans tailgating and the fans who were just looking to park in their assigned lots," Gershman said.
The team will no longer maintain game-day, cash parking lots since there are numerous private operators in the stadium vicinity providing the service.
During post-game congestion periods, cars exiting lots will be directed to dedicated traffic lanes, a procedure that has been in effect for pre-game traffic for several years. The team is also in discussions with Prince George's County officials on the possibility of making traffic one-way leading to the Beltway during peak post-game congestion around the stadium, amongst other changes that can improve the game day experience.
The team also announced that it has enhanced its in-stadium text alert system. Introduced last year for the first full season, the text system allows fans to use their cell phones or PDAs to conveniently alert stadium officials to any concerns or unruly behavior in their sections. The team has added more stadium ushers, and will dedicate more senior-level staff to manage and monitor the system, and direct the appropriate response to any situation.
"Like other stadiums, we found that fans consider this system a true enhancement to their game-day experience," Gershman said. "It helps us get maintenance, security, or medical staff moving faster and more efficiently if the need arises."
The Redskins will also introduce electronic scanning of tickets, ending the practice of "ripping" tickets as fans enter the stadium and allowing greater flexibility in tracking seat use.