With a crowd of more than 25,000 fans at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center for the team's annual Fan Appreciation Day, the Washington Redskins, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, the City of Richmond and the Virginia Governor's Office announced that fan attendance has surpassed the 100,000 mark for camp today.
"Richmond is Redskins Country! We knew Virginia loved the 'Skins, and today we can give 100,000 examples of just how much. Through the hard work of so many individuals from the Redskins to Mayor Dwight Jones and his staff to the great people at Bon Secours, the Commonwealth has won already, a month before the NFL season even kicks off," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. "The Redskins have a world class training facility, Richmond is the place to be for football fans this August, and Virginia's long and important relationship with a storied NFL franchise has only deepened.
"I hope fans have a great time today, and as Governor of Virginia, it's my pleasure to say 'Hail to the Redskins!'"
Fan Appreciation Day annually celebrates Redskins football and the team's devoted fans.
Festivities kicked off with Larry Michael, the voice of the Washington Redskins, welcoming the crowd, and Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan addressing fans prior to practice.
"Our experience here in Richmond has been fantastic. I appreciate your support, your hospitality," Shanahan told the crowd. "We're looking forward to a great year. I think you'll be proud of our football team, both on and off the football field.
"We're going to give you everything we've got. I promise you that and then some.
"We appreciate you being here today. I think you're going to have a great time. We're going to put on a great practice for you. Afterwards we're going to spread our players across the field. I think you'll enjoy getting to know them, seeing what kind of personalities they have, and they're looking forward to spending some time with you.
"We can't thank you enough."
Redskins players, coaches and personnel spent more than 40 minutes working their way around the field after practice, signing everything from hats and towels to family photos and babies.
The day was the culmination of years of hard work to move training camp to Richmond, a moment that was not lost on Washington Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder.
"Today marks a historic day in our franchise's history," Snyder said. "With the leadership of Bon Secours Health System, combined with the support from Governor McDonnell, Mayor Jones, and our other outstanding community partners, we were able to bring this unforgettable fan experience to Richmond.
"Together, we will continue to break records and set the standard of excellence for training camp experiences in professional sports."
Fans enjoyed multiple performances by the Redskins Marching Band and Cheerleaders prior to Redskins' Fan Appreciation Day practice, which included individual drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team drills.
Following practice, every Redskins player and coach signed autographs, took pictures and mingled with fans.
"The City of Richmond is proud to be the backdrop for this record-breaking week in Redskins Summer Training Camp history," said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "I want to thank Richmond residents, all the city and state employees, the area businesses, the volunteers and the fans for working together to ensure the success of this maiden Redskins voyage into RVA.
"We look forward to enjoying the remainder of Training Camp and to welcoming the Redskins back for years to come."
For more information on Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, please visit www.redskins.com/trainingcamp. Fans are encouraged to follow the Redskins on Twitter (@Redskins) and tweet with the hashtag #RedskinsRVA.