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Commanders fans celebrate a new season and a new outlook on the team

Fans began arriving before dawn to tailgate at FedEx Field

GREATER LANDOVER, Md. — The Washington Commanders' home opener against the Arizona Cardinals is sold out. Fans started arriving early this morning at FedEx Field.

"We’ve been getting here at 6 am for the past 23-25 years or so," said Chris Lopez of Leesburg, VA. He and his wife Christie were first in line for the Red Zone Lot at FedEx Field, which is famous for the biggest tailgate spaces and the most hardcore fans.

"We’re usually the first ones at the stadium, as a matter of fact, a bunch of people at the stadium have told us they make bets on when we arrive," said Lopez. "We’ve had some up years, some down years, but the only thing that’s been consistent is the family we get from the tailgate experience."

The Commanders family has been waiting for a season like this one for a long time, with new owner Josh Harris in place.

"You can tell locally the new owners are way more invested in the community and they're really actively going out and making DC and the northern Virginia area proud to be fans of this team, so it's pretty cool," said fan Chris Bryant of Staunton, VA.

Superfan Bryant hasn't missed a home game in nearly a decade and drives almost three hours from Staunton, VA to be there. He calls himself one of the "Hog Farmers." It's now officially a charitable 5013c, raising money to fight pediatric cancer.

"A large portion of our community support are Washington fans so we've been doing really good," said Bryant.

You can't beat the dedication of the Commando-lorians, who attend every game in 3D-printed costumes.

"We've been revitalized, we’re just ready for the new era," said Francis Dilsaber of Waldorf, MD. She's been coming to games since 1970 when she was 4 years old. She has one wish this season.

"Just for the fans to come back, and to have the old way again and not to be overrun in the stadium by the opposing fans," said Dilsaber. "We just want to see commander fans take over our house again and dominate."

With 60,000 fans strong at the opener for a sold-out game, it looks like she may get that wish this season.

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