SBD/Issue 48/Facilities & Venues

Redskins Want FedExField To Be Used For More Than NFL Games

Redskins Have Lured Several College Football
Games To FedExField, Eyeing Other Big Events
The Redskins have "bolstered their efforts to bring activity to the 91,000-seat" FedExField, "luring several major college football games and eyeing other big events, including" the World Cup and the NCAA men's lacrosse championship, according to Tim Lemke of the WASHINGTON TIMES. The Redskins this week announced that the Univ. of Cincinnati (UC) has "moved its home game against Virginia Tech in 2012 to FedEx Field." The news comes after Virginia Tech said that it "will host Boise State at FedEx Field in 2010 and after Indiana revealed it will host Penn State there next season." FedExField this summer also "won the rights" to the '11 Army-Navy football game. The stadium already has hosted "big events this year," including a Real Madrid-DC United friendly and U2 and Paul McCartney concerts. While these events "can be a boost to the Redskins' top line," Redskins CMO Mitch Gershman said that the "primary motivation is to bring extra benefits to season-ticket holders, who are usually offered the first opportunity to buy tickets." Lemke writes the "push for more events comes partly because of a restructuring of the Redskins' front office that saw Gershman moving from" COO to CMO. That move has "led to an improved working relationship with sports marketing groups in the region." Greater Washington Sports Alliance President Bob Sweeney: "The willingness of the Redskins to open up the field to more than football now has been a great new thing for us. ... The financial models work at FedEx Field, especially when you get crowds over 70,000, and (the Redskins) willingness to do business has really helped." Lemke notes in "most cases, schools are willing to move home games to the stadium because the financial guarantee is larger than what can be earned at their own facilities." UC AD Mark Thomas: "To play these kinds of games, the visibility piece is important and that's a good thing. But the financial part of it was significant" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/18).

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