I want to reach out to you about a topic I wish to address directly: your team’s stadium, FedEx Field. Here is what I believe and why I believe it.
Many of your team’s fans were born in the era of FedEx Field. They still remember their first game there.
Maybe they were just six and remember coming through the tunnel into the stands at FedEx Field with their father, and immediately being struck by the enormity of the stadium and the passion of the fans all around them.
They remember how quiet it got when the team had the ball, and then how deafening it was when they scored. The ground beneath them seemed to move and shake, and they reached up to grab their father’s hand. The smiles of their faces … there in FedEx Field, are still with them every day.
That tradition at FedEx Field mattered so much to them as a child, and I know it matters to every other fan in the D.C. area and across the nation.
Your stadium isn’t just where the team plays — it’s who they are.
As you may know, the stadium began 17 years ago — in 1997 — with the name Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. Two years later, the stadium name was changed to FedEx Field. That inaugural FedEx Field team won the division and made the playoffs. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor.
I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives of those who want a new stadium, and I respect their feelings. But I hope such individuals also try to respect what FedEx Field means, not only for all of the fans, but also for taxpayers who would have to pay to replace a stadium that is only 17 years old.
FedEx Field has a great history, tradition and legacy representing the team’s proud alumni and literally tens of millions of loyal fans worldwide. The stadium has hosted many memorable football games, soccer matches and concerts.
So when I consider FedEx Field, I think of what it stands for. I think of the traditions and pride fans want to share with their children, just as their father shared with them.
I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore 17-year stadium history, or the strong feelings of most of your fans as well as taxpayers. After 17 years, FedEx Field continues to hold the memories and meaning of where the franchise came from, what it is, and what it wants to be in the years to come.
FedEx Field is part of the team and you owe it to your fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.
“With Respect and Appreciation,”
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