Surface Bermuda Grass
Jack Kent Cooke Stadium 1997‑1999
Redskins (NFL) 1997-2021
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FedExField was built as a replacement for Washington's prior venue, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C. In 1994, Jack Kent Cooke sought to build a new stadium on the grounds adjacent to Laurel Park Racecourse along Whiskey Bottom and Brock Bridge roads. Lack of parking facilities and support prompted a second site selection.
The stadium opened in 1997 as Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, in honor of the recently deceased owner of the team, and the stadium site was known as Raljon from the first names of Cooke's sons – "Ralph" and "John". Notably, Cooke was able to register Raljon with the United States Postal Service as a legal alternate address for the 20785 zip code of Landover, Maryland, where the stadium is located, and went to some lengths to require media to use Raljon in datelines from the stadium. This ended when Daniel Snyder bought the team from the Cooke estate, and the team now gives the stadium's address as Landover.
A special exit, Exit 16 (Arena Drive), was built from Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway.
After Snyder's purchase, the stadium's naming rights were sold to FedEx in November 1999 for an average of $7.6 million per year. The waiting list for season tickets was reportedly over 160,000 names long. However, according to The Washington Post, ticket office employees improperly sold tickets directly to ticket brokers for several years before the practice was discovered in 2009.
Although the team has never sold out the entire stadium, the team has not had a game blacked out on local television since 1972 (when home game broadcasts were banned outright) because it does not count "premium club level seating" when calculating sellouts (their sellout streak dates to 1965, eight years before the new blackout rules were implemented).
From 2004 to 2010, Washington’s fans set the NFL regular-season home paid attendance records. In 2005 the team drew a record 716,998 fans overall. The December 30, 2007, 27–6 win against the Dallas Cowboys was the most-watched game in franchise history, with 90,910 fans in the stands to see Washington clinch a playoff spot. The team led the NFL in attendance in 2000 and every year between 2002 and 2008.
On January 8, 2000, the Redskins defeated the Detroit Lions 27–13 in the first NFL playoff game at FedExField. On December 29, 2002, Washington defeated the rival Dallas Cowboys, 20–14. This game was Darrell Green's final game. He played 20 seasons with the team. The game also broke a 10-game losing streak to the Cowboys.