Note to Redskins fans—you won’t realize how amazing 100 foot, high-definition screens look until you gaze upon them yourself. Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder invited a bunch of us media-types to a luncheon and tour of his improved “Fed Ex Field experience”. Snyder promised more upgrades to his often criticized coliseum and he delivered.
Reportedly, Snyder had already spent close to $150 million on stadium upgrades over the last 10 years but his last $20 million’s worth, which media were permitted to peruse this past Sunday, adds an aspect of a “finishing touch” although the Redskins insist that they are not done.
The most spectacular of these upgrades, as previously mentioned, are undoubtedly the new scoreboards. All the clamor last season over a certain team down in Texas’ new scoreboard was not lost on Snyder and neither was his competitive side Sunday afternoon.
“This is as good as you get quality-wise," Snyder said with a sly grin, anticipating the shot he was about to take. "These are sharper definition than you'll see down in Texas.”
Some of the features these screens will provide are multiple angled instant replays that can all be displayed on one screen, and—as Snyder pointed out, everyone in the stadium will be able to view these screens and not just those fans seated on the sidelines. All of this, provided by a new state-of-the-art video control room which looks like something off the deck of the USS Enterprise. In fact, Snyder claimed that the scoreboards could also give the home team more of an advantage because of the immediate playback capability of the new setup. The turnaround time on instant replays will give the coaching staff more of an opportunity to make an informed decision giving them a slight edge at home, as it should be.
“This is a little clearer than his," Snyder continued with another jab. "I think this is a safer location, not above your head.” Take that Jerry.
Even some of Mr. Snyder’s biggest doubters were wide eyed as they stared from the press box and gazed not only at the spectacular high definition display but at how vibrant the stadium appeared. The grass literally seems greener, the seats freshly painted and work outside the stadium is nearly completed.
“You’ll find that we’ve tried to get to every part of the stadium starting with the landscaping out front, the painting everything inside and cleaning it thoroughly and just really focusing on the fan experience,” one Redskins official told DCSB. “We want the fans to notice when they walk in that the stadium is being taken care of and it’s for them to enjoy their day.”
Among these improvements: cash parking spaces, which are located along Brightseat Road and party decks located above the club-level seats.
One of the more sobering moments of the tour was the sight of Sean Taylor’s locker, which had been encased in Plexiglas and relocated from Ashburn to the third floor club level of FedEx Field. The locker has been kept intact—with everything set up the way the training staff and Taylor had it arranged in anticipation of Taylor’s return prior to his untimely death. Images of Taylor dressed in his Redskins uniform on either side of the locker, his helmet hanging inside of the locker, even his playbook and other personal items are on display for fans to observe and remember.
While some of the remaining improvements are on the way, Redskins officials guarantee that the fresh and improved Fed Ex Field will be up and ready for this week’s first preseason game, Friday, August 13 against the Bills.