For the past year or so, there has been much debate over where the next stadium for the Redskins should be built. FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland has posed problems for a lot of fans. There are complaints about tailgating space, inadequate parking and nightmarish traffic to name just a few. The lease at FedEx Field will be up in 2027, so there’s a 10-year window for arrangements to be completed for the new site. Will the stadium be in Maryland, Virginia or our nation’s capital Washington DC?
I don’t think Prince George’s County, Maryland wants to give up the revenue that is generated from football fans coming to FedEx Field. I can’t recall Maryland Governor Larry Hogan making any comments about keeping the team in his state, but I’m pretty sure Prince George’s County would like the Redskins to stay. The National Harbor site in Oxon Hill, Maryland could be a possible contender despite opposition from state delegate David Moon of Montgomery County who says the taxpayers of Maryland shouldn’t be paying for a stadium for a team calling themselves the Redskins. His opposition may be more about the stadium not being built in his county rather than the name of the team on its own.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is the loudest voice on getting the Redskins to move to his state, citing the team holds training camp in Richmond and has its corporate headquarters in Ashburn. One of Governor McAuliffe’s favorite points to make is that most of the Redskins season ticket holders are residents of Virginia. The possible building site I have been hearing about in Virginia is Loudoun County, which is a developing area. The problem I see with Loudoun County, Virginia is the distance between it and the immediate Washington, DC area as well as the current location of the stadium in Landover, Maryland.
Loudoun County, Virginia is approximately 44 miles from the center of DC and would be at least an hour and a half drive and even further from parts of Maryland. The third option would be for the Redskins to return to Washington, DC at the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium site which is already Metrorail accessible and is an area that could use some new development. The neighboring area around RFK Stadium would greatly benefit from the team moving back to the city. RFK Stadium in its current condition is in obvious disrepair. It originally opened back in 1961 and has been the home of the Washington Redskins football team, the Nationals baseball team and is now being used by DC United soccer team until 2018 when they move into their new facility.
RFK Stadium has not been properly maintained since the Redskins left at the end of the 1996 season. As candidate for mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser stated that the team should change its name. Since she became Mayor, Bowser has backed off that statement. US Representative for the District of Columbia Eleanor Holmes Norton says she likes the team but wants them to change the name.
Being a season ticket holder since 2004, if I had a vote it would be to return the Redskins to the RFK site. This issue is not a campaign platform, but it will be very political. I was born in Washington, DC and lived most of my life in Maryland. I might sound biased, but the Wizards basketball team, the Nationals baseball team, the Capitals hockey team and DC United soccer team all have their game facilities in the nation’s capital and so should our Washington Redskins.
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