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‘It’s not been good,’ says business owner about Redskins Training Camp

Posted at 2:04 AM, Aug 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-16 02:04:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. --Sunday marks the final day of Redskin's Training Camp in Richmond. While the team will not be heading back to Washington until Monday, Sunday is the last day that fans can come out to watch the team practice.

While there's been plenty excitement over the past two weeks, the team has struggled to draw the same crowds as year’s past.

On Fan Appreciation Day Saturday, players signed autographs, gave away jerseys and energized the crowd.

Fan Appreciation Day

Fan Appreciation Day

That excitement brings hardcore fans like Brenda Mae Williams to camp. Williams said she has been a fan of the team "forever."

Rodney Redman, another fan, said he thought Saturday's event was awesome.

However, Steve Barbehenn pointed out he felt there has not been much fanfare when it comes to the crowds. In fact, he said he noticed fewer people at camp this year.

"It seemed kind of quiet and subdued. Most of the day even when the band came, there didn't seem to be a lot of reaction,” Barbehenn explained.

And for Sunil Thawrani, who owns a NFL merchandise warehouse filled with Redskins memorabilia in Richmond, lower attendance at the camp means fewer sales.

"Nothing like what we had the last two years. This year...it's been hurting us. It's not been good,” Thawrani said.

Fan Appreciation Day

Fan Appreciation Day


In fact, Thawrani said sales have "gone down 60 to 70 percent" versus previous years, which is a major impact on his bottomline.

"We thought with today being Fan Appreciation Day, we wanted the big crowds to come in,” a surprised Thawrani said.

And while some question whether turnout was down, one thing rings true. Fans' devotion for their favorite players was on full display.

Fan Appreciation Day

Fan Appreciation Day