Aiming for fans back in the stands, WFT will offer fee-free tickets for one day after Wednesday’s schedule announcement
The NFL played the 2020 season almost entirely without fans in the stands, costing the league an estimated $4 billion in lost revenue. This resulted in, among other things, the first reduction in salary cap since 2011. Teams are keen to see fans return to stadiums around the league in 2021, and the Washington franchise is taking positive steps to ensure that FedEx Field refills quickly.
The team today announced that, following the official public announcement of the NFL 2021 schedule, which is slated for Wednesday, 13 May at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the team will be waiving all single-game ticket fees for 24 hours.
The home schedule
This will apply to the team’s eight home games – three against the division rival Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants, but also including three NFC teams – the Saints, Seahawks and Buccaneers – and two AFC teams, the Chiefs and Chargers. Dates for each contest will be announced on Wednesday night.
The Washington Football Team has worked hard to build a roster that should give fans a great reason to come out and support the team. Many analysts are projecting Jack Del Rio’s defense to lead the league in 2021 after finishing with the #5 ranking in 2020.
Washington’s offense has been upgraded significantly with the addition of veterans like wide receivers Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries, and offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. In the draft, Washington added to the offensive line, and expanded the team’s receiving options with the selection of receivers Dyami Brown and Dax Milne, along with TE John Bates. The signing of RB Jaret Patterson, who ran for 409 yards and 8 touchdowns in a single game in the 2020 season, rounds out a set of weapons that will give new quarterback, gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick, tons of targets in the passing game – entirely changing the look and feel of the team’s offense.
While the changes to the roster and expectations for the team to repeat as NFC East champions are the most important factors for a successful 2021 season, the franchise is also taking steps to improve the fan experience at games.
Team president, Jason Wright, recently wrote about these efforts in his President’s Weekly Brief:
To really maximize the potential of FedEx Field, we brought in Joey Colby-Begovich as our Vice President of Guest Experience to formulate creative ideas for how to make our stadium more enjoyable for everyone. I won't lay out all the things Joey and the team are implementing, but I can tell you he is working hard on addressing issues we know have been pain points for our fans.
For example, parking at the stadium has been a problem for some time, so we're finding a new strategic partner to help us better understand traffic flows and examine ways to restripe the lots for better access. We're rethinking our entire food and beverage strategy with a lens on higher quality, better value, and more efficient service, even within a less than ideal design at FedEx Field. We will share as those plans become more solid. And we have already announced that we are overhauling our gameday entertainment slate to add more variety on and off the field.
Obviously, we want all of you back at FedExField when we suit up for the first time in 2021. But we also want to make sure that you want to come back. To use the cliched football phrase, the stadium is your house, and we want it to be a place you can be proud of. And the best way to do that is for us to make sure, regardless of what is happening on the field, we have a reimagined, fan-centric environment.
Washington also recently announced the formation of a new Fan Ambassador Network, which will comprise seven focus groups that will help the team understand and improve different aspects of the fan experience.
After a year almost completely without live NFL football, fans will be keen to get back to the game. Ron Rivera and his crew have done a great job of improving the roster that the team will put on the field; it sounds as though Jason Wright and his crew are serious about mirroring that with improvements to fan experience off the field. There seem to be a lot of reasons to get out and support the defending NFC East champs when they kick off the new season in September!