DC has uphill climb for return of Redskins stadium

RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington DC

The enthusiastic turnout in Richmond, Virginia, triggered a conversation with some of my tweeps about the next home stadium for the Redskins. Virginia is already setting themselves up to compete for the site with a location somewhere in Northern Virginia. Jack Kent Cooke could not find such a site in the mid-1990s when he was shopping for a new team location. Virginia pitched to the Squire locations as far away as Virginia Beach.

Maryland and Prince Georges County won't twiddle its thumbs while other jurisdictions steal the next FedEx Field from them. If anything, they have been a tad too friendly to Daniel Snyder in the past. He once got the County to ban pedestrian traffic from remote lots to FedEx on game day in favor of team-chartered buses. We speculated that the County would pitch a location near the National Harbor, which is due to open a new casino in a year or two.

I'm not sure how the NFL will feel about that. There is a reason why no major sports teams are located in Las Vegas. There is a vast difference between Vegas and a Maryland casino, but the NFL might still have a slight concern.

We thought DC would have the biggest up-hill climb. The new MetLife Stadium for the New Yorks Giants and Jets received a billion dollars public funding from New Jersey. DC residents should have voting representation in Congress ‒ they pay enough taxes for it ‒ but the District of Columbia alone does not enjoy the financial resources of a State. They would need federal help.

That's a problem.

RFK Stadium sits on National Park Service land. Building a new Redtails stadium there opens the door to Congressional and local intrusion on how the Redskins operate, you know, little things like the team name. The Redskins will not walk into that by locating on federal property.

Problem is that all of D.C. is federal property technically. Congress could still intrude.

But wait, there's more.

The DC Council passed an ordinance to require Walmart to pay higher minimum wage to its employees within District limits while exempting its biggest competitor, Target, from the same requirement for their existing stores. The Council took that action after Walmart broke ground on three coveted new stores, Walmart's first within city limits.

That's changing the rules after the game has started. That is anathema in sports culture. Members of the Council have already disparaged the Redskins brand as a slur ‒ that whole Redtails thing ‒ and now have shown a proclivity to change the rules, as they did with Walmart, if and after the team agrees to return to DC.

I suspect that's a non-starter for Mr. Snyder – who would never bring it up in any conversation with the District.

DC and Maryland lost the bid for the Redskins training camp facility to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now the 'Skins' headquarters-practice facility and training camp are located in the Old Dominion. Redskins players live there.

The lease for FedEx Field runs through 2027. This discussion begins in earnest in 2020. A lot can change before then.

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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