Fans Pay to Watch Redskins Practice

ByABC News
July 21, 2000, 9:32 AM

July 21 -- Families going to NFL training camps hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite football heroes should plan on bringing a little extra cash along with their autograph book.

If youre going to the Washington Redskins training camp, that is.

Team owner Daniel Snyder paid a then-record $800 million for the Redskins last year. And with a new and improved workout facility and such high-paid stars on the roster like Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders, the Redskins have turned to the fans for a little relief.

On Thursday, the Redskins became the first team in NFL history to charge admissionto its preseason practices. Fans over 12 doled out a $10 admission fee to be part of the preseason action at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.

Redskins president Steve Baldacci said the decision to charge admission was not a business decision, but Snyders attempt to improve fans access to the team.

However, other teams around the NFL say the tradition of not charging fans to watch training camp achieves exactly that purpose.

Cost of Entertainment

Between the Redskins light morning workout and the afternoon session inpads, music blared from a sound system and fans flocked to theall-new NFL Experience, a series of stations where they testedtheir throwing, running and kicking skills.

About 3,000 fans turned out for the Redskins practice sessions Thursday, although a sellout crowd of 7,500 was expected. The response on the whole was lukewarm, but some fans said the price was right.

I think its fine, said Pam Hanchett of Leesburg, Va., who camealong with one other adult and 10 children. The cost ofentertainment is high.

Hamburgers and chicken sandwiches were selling for $5 each inthe concession area, a bottle of beer also was $5 and a hot dog orsoda was going for $3.

In the less busy merchandise tent, a Redskins golf shirt was$74.99, T-shirts were from $19.99 to $24.99, and an adult replicafootball jersey was $59.99.