More than 25,000 show up for Fan Appreciation Day

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - People flocked to Fan Appreciation day at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Saturday. Despite the high temperatures and not ideal conditions, training camp in Richmond was packed all day long.

More than 25,000 visitors set up shop for Fan Appreciation Day. While some are raving about their experience others aren't exactly happy campers.

"Welcome to fan appreciation," a volunteer shouted at people waiting in line. "Thank you for coming!"

For some, making it to the gate to hear those words of welcome was worth waiting out the lines.

"A dream come true, it's like going to Disneyland," Adam Williamson described.

The 19-year-old even caught a glimpse of his favorite player.

"I've seen RGIII," he recalled. "I've seen him with the leg braces on."

Ten-year-old Gavin Spiller wanted that very experience, but his game plan didn't play out.

"I was mostly thinking about seeing RGIII but since there's a lot of people here we just decided to leave because the line was really tough and we couldn't get through," he said.

Gavin and his brother Ethan aren't putting their experience in the "win column." They only lasted an hour.

"It is just too hot," Ethan told us. "There were too many people out here and it's just crazy, people can't even get through. I'm really disappointed because, I mean, I thought this would be more organized and everything, but life's life."

Life for a 'Skins fan during Saturday's event included long lines, hot temperatures, muddy grass, not enough time to get autographs and some medical emergencies. Several fans had to be taken out on stretchers because of heat related illnesses.

But Vivian Whiting had a great day. She says the hoopla should've been expected for a team as beloved as this.

"They know it's going to be a crowd, they famous," she exclaimed. "You don't think there's going to be a crowd? You just gotta live with it."

She'd brave these conditions again to show her Redskins pride.

"Thank you, Richmond, we love it," Whiting added.

Visitors were originally told players would sign autographs before their practice, but that didn't happen. They did, however, take some extra time to give the fans what they wanted afterwards.

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