Thursday, July 9, 2009

Redskin Parking/Tailgate Policy EXPLAINED

Hockey Season is done and the Caps had a good run. The Wizards year to forget has since been forgotten and the Nationals... well they're horrible and can't even spell their own team name. Is it football season yet? Everyone has been pining for some kind of Redskin related news to tide us over till training camp starts but I guess my mother was right when she told me to


Earlier this summer the Redskins granted our wish by sending out a private PDF to various Premium Suite ticket holders only. The PDF had a map of the new parking lot redesign and it also listed a "NEW TAILGATING POLICY".

The PDF was passed around the Internet and hysteria immediately ensued. Various Redskin message boards were being flooded with posts wondering if the rumors were true. The Blog world exploded posting story after story after story about what will forever be known as Tailgate-Gate. The Washington Post even felt it was print worthy and they commissioned Dan Steinberg to write an article about the changes.

Fearful that the rumors world grow much like the Jim Fassel debacle of 08 did. The Redskins decided to quickly devise and publish a Press Release to quell the storm. The release tried to place such a positive spin that even Bill O'Reilly would have been proud of. The team loved it's fans and tailgating so much they hired a consulting firm to advise them on how to improve the overall game day experience (How about putting a winning team on the field).
The Skins were going to let Tailgaters have more room to setup and be out of everyones way. They tried to pretend that they were doing fans a favor by opening a new Gray lot but neglected to mention anything about the loss of the Blue lot and the reduction in size of the Red lot.

The statement also failed to mention the fact that all Cash lots will be operated solely by private companies who can charge whatever their heart desires. I wouldn't be surprised if the price to park in a cash lot is higher for a Cowboy game vs. a Saints game.

The real Coup De GrĂ¢ce of the new rules is that parking attendants will be,
"Directing fans who wish to tailgate in more than one space to the back of lots...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."
After reading the poorly written statement fans immediately had more question and concerns.
  • Am I going to be directed to a general are where I can park next to my friends or will the guy with the Orange flag make me park in a particular spot?

  • I've parked in the same spot since the stadium opened and I tailgate on a grass island. Do I still have to go to the back of the lot with the other tailgaters?

  • What if my wife gets stuck in traffic? Does that mean she can't park beside me when she gets there?

  • Why don't they just enforce the old policy of one vehicle one spot? Why come up with a new one 10 years later?

Some fans even started an online petition to try and "Save Tailgating". The petition had a simple and straight to the point request.

"Individuals should be allowed to park anywhere in the lot they desire as long as they have the appropriate Parking Pass. Individuals that are occupying more than one space will be asked to move. If they do not comply they risk losing their Parking Pass for the Season."
Numerous tailgate websites that had nothing to do with the DC area or the Redskins picked up the story and asked people to sign the petition (Tailgating Ideas , Tailgate Lot). Local radio stations (The Big O and Dukes Show, The Junkies and The Sports Reporters) were flooded with calls from irate and happy listeners that wanted to voice their opinion about the new policy.

One renowned Redskin tailgater even decided to write an article that was posted on the highly popular Washington Post DC Sports Bog. The article listed various reasons why Redskin Tailgaters were still worried and it asked Dan Snyder to,

"not tear apart my Redskins family that I cried with in 2007 during the Buffalo Bills tailgate, after Sean Taylor passed away. Let us park next to our friends and family as long as we all have the appropriate color parking passes and are not taking up more than one space..."

Well Redskin fans I have some good news and some bad news. After being in limbo for a couple weeks, we finally have some unofficial/official answers to everyone's questions.

FdaCowboys was able to contact some Redskin officials and clear up the parking/tailgating rules for the upcoming 2009 season.

The Redskins Parking Staff define "Tailgating" as taking up more then one space or driving area with a grill or a canopy. If you are impeding people from parking or passing through you are "Tailgating." If you have a small little hibachi grill behind your car or are eating a bucket of chicken out of the trunk then you are "Not Tailgating"

Fedex field will have signs once you enter the lots that direct Non-Tailgaters to the front of the lot where parking attendants will direct you into individual spots that you MUST park in. If you are in a row of cars and you are car 5 in line and your buddy is car 25 in line then he will be directed to a spot that is 25 spaces away from you. You CANNOT save spaces for friends and family in the front of the lot. The lots will be filled from the front to the back.

Tailgaters will be allowed to park free reign in the rear of the lots. They can spill into extra spaces to set up their grills, tables, canopies and chairs. Once the parking staff has reached the rear area of the lot, they must move out of the extra spaces they are occupying and allow the attendents to direct cars into those spots.

The good news is that the Redskins are not directing everyone where to go. If you are part of a large tailgate you can still park together in the back of the lots. If you don't tailgate and just head straight into the stadium then you should be able to find a parking spot easier towards the front of the lot. The first couple of games are going to be a mess. I advise everyone to get there early so they don't miss kickoff or any valuable tailgating time while the staff irons out the kinks. If anyone still has any questions or concerns about the new policy feel free to email us at and we will do our best to get your questions answered.


HouseBowlrz said...

... and with your help, I was able to get my specific questions addressed regarding the lot in which I have parked for the last couple of years. It is a unique situation where the front of the lot has great tailgating space that does not impede traffic and pedestrian flow.

Thanks for everything you do ...

Mark The Homer said...

Nice work.

I am still not completely clear on the definition of "tailgating."

[i]The Redskins Parking Staff define "Tailgating" as taking up more then one space or driving area with a grill or a canopy. If you are impeding people from parking or passing through you are "Tailgating." If you have a small little hibachi grill behind your car or are eating a bucket of chicken out of the trunk then you are "Not Tailgating"[/i]

There is a gap between these two definitions. What if you park up front in the "no tailgating zone", you take only one space, you do not impede the flow of cars or pedestrians, and you happen to have a full sized Weber? What if your entire row is filled with cars and the rows behind you are also filled with cars so that there is no longer any vehicle traffic anywhere near you? Can we then set up chairs? In fact, if the rows near us are filled so that there is no longer any vehicles using the lanes near us, is there a sound reason why we couldn't put up a canopy besides the fact that it is against some "rule?"


skinsfan44 said...

Thanks for all you did in getting us this info. We will see how things go when the first game rolls around. HTTR!!!