Report: Commanders' Proposed New Stadium Has 55K Seats; Would Be Smallest in NFL

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 1, 2022

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Team co-owner Dan Snyder speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders reportedly have an answer to their attendance woes: make their new stadium smaller.

Michael Phillips of the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported the Commanders' proposal for a new stadium in Prince William County, Virginia, is designed to seat 55,000 people, which would make it the smallest stadium in the NFL.

FedEx Field, the Commanders' home since 1997, has been removing seats for several years amid their attendance woes. The stadium once maxed out with a capacity of 91,704 fans—the largest in the NFL—and now holds only 67,717. 

Despite the massive reduction seating, FedEx Field remains unfilled on most weeks. The Commanders ranked 31st in attendance last season (52,751), ahead of only the Detroit Lions, and have not ranked higher than 20th in attendance since 2017.

Washington was once one of the NFL's most popular teams, but decadeslong mismanagement from owner Daniel Snyder has led to widespread frustration among fans. Snyder has also come under public fire in recent years because of allegations of workplace harassment from female employees and an investigation into alleged financial impropriety.

Undeterred, Snyder has continued to search for a new stadium site as the team's lease on FedEx Field ends in 2027

The Virginia stadium package proposal is said to create 2,246 jobs in the area by 2033.

“We are grateful for the bipartisan support the stadium authority legislation has already received, and any additional time will certainly provide us with more opportunities to share how this project can create new jobs, generate significant tax revenue and spur economic development,” team president Jason Wright said in a statement.