Dan Snyder Works Around Maryland Smoking Ban at FedEx Field

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘dbking’

Thanks to several laws in the last few years, the DMV area is a smoke-free region in public places. For non-smoking patrons, public smoking bans are a beautiful thing. No more worries about second-hand smoke after going to a bar, no more worrying about your family being around smoke unnecessarily. And generally, just a little bit more fresh air in a crowded restaurant can’t be a bad thing, right?

The specific ban passed by the state of Maryland in 2007 (the Clean Air Act) goes beyond restaurants and pubs – it actually includes outdoor sports venues like FedEx Field. Up until the ban went into effect at the beginning of 2008, FedEx Field actually had a few places designed for smokers, including a nifty cigar bar on the loge level called Club Macanudo. The club was only open to those seated in the premium areas and offered full service meals in addition to allowing patrons to smoke cigars. Once the smoking ban began, the club was no longer able to serve patrons food and drink, and even though it lasted as a simple cigar store for one season, it closed after the 2008 campaign.

This is Dan Snyder we’re talking about, though, so if there is a way to make some coin, he’ll find it. Snyder has secured an exemption from the Maryland Clean Air Act with a new cigar store/establishment on the Joe Gibbs Level with a small technicality: instead of branding it as a cigar bar, the renamed Montecristo Club is now a “tobacco shop.” There is no distinction in the law between cigars and cigarettes, so, voila, club level patrons, you can once again smoke at FedEx Field. The one thing non-smokers can take solace in is that at least the area is contained and not completely public.

Dave Levy is a PR guy by day, a media researcher on the side and a self-proclaimed geek. He blogs often about how traditional media adapts – or tries to adapt – to the growing digital media world at State of the Fourth Estate. You can follow Dave on Twitter for various updates about everything from sports from his previous home in Boston to eccentric and obscure pop culture references. Read why Dave loves D.C.

4 thoughts on “Dan Snyder Works Around Maryland Smoking Ban at FedEx Field

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Dan Snyder Works Around Maryland Smoking Ban at FedEx Field » We Love DC -- Topsy.com

  2. I can’t follow why calling it a “tabacco shop” instead of a “cigar bar” allows the place to operate. You say the law does not distinguish between cigars and cigarettes, but aren’t both outlawed by the Clean Air Act? There’s something missing in your explanation.

    And what’s so terrible about there being ONE bar at FedEx that you can smoke in? We’re talking about just one bar here, right? There are countless other bars that are smoke free that others can go to.

  3. Yes, it was a poor explanation.

    Bottom line: There can be no smoking in any public place in Maryland; This includes stadiums, restaurants and bars.

    However, there is an exception for tobacco shops. So Snyder stocks some cigars, cigarettes and pipe tobacco and calls it an in-stadium shop.

    Voila, now you can smoke there.

    The workaround is silly, but I don’t have a beef with people having one place to smoke in a stadium.

  4. Dan Snyder is pro smoking and pro cancer.
    When he and his wife promote breast cancer awareness,
    this further demonstrates their hypocricy.
    Smoking has been a huge cause of many cancers.
    So stick your cigars and cigarettes in your anti-cancer
    promotional bag and stop blowing smoke!
    Next time you light up that stogie, follow the smoke
    as it goes right into the lungs of everyone else!