- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Washington Redskins announced a series of new policies Monday relating to parking and traffic, including rules that will restrict many tailgaters to the back of lots at FedEx Field.

The team said it has added 3,000 new parking spaces for fans on FedEx Field property from the addition of a new “Gray Lot” located off Landover Road and has instituted a series of changes to allow traffic to flow more easily in and out of lots on game days. The changes are specifically designed to allow some fans to tailgate while making parking easier for fans who don’t.

“We expect to have more tailgaters than ever,” Redskins chief operating officer Mitch Gershman said in a statement. “Those who want to meet with their friends will have more space, and those who want to simply park will find it easier to do so.”

The biggest change to the Redskins’ tailgating policy - and one that has been met with complaints from many fans - is a new rule requiring all tailgaters who use more than one parking spot to be located in the back of lots near the stadium. Anyone who wishes to tailgate closer to the stadium must be restricted to a single spot. The Redskins stressed that tailgating will be permitted anywhere except in Platinum lots. Fans who wish just to park or tailgate in a single spot will be directed to spots closer to the stadium.

“What we found was that when tailgaters spread into multiple spaces, it caused congestion in the lots and resulted in inconvenience to everyone - the fans tailgating and the fans who were just looking to park in their assigned lots,” Gershman said.

The team said it made the changes after hiring an outside consulting firm and reviewing policies at other stadiums.

The Redskins also said they will no longer maintain cash-only lots, citing the number of private lots in the vicinity of the stadium.

The team will continue its policy of using dedicated lanes for cars exiting FedEx Field lots after games and has spoken to Prince George’s County officials about directing postgame traffic one-way toward the Capital Beltway.

Meanwhile, the Redskins will implement a new text-messaging system inside FedEx Field to allow fans to contact an usher or security guard anonymously in the event of unruly behavior or other problems in their section. The team also will begin scanning tickets electronically instead of ripping them as fans enter the stadium.

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