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New Washington Redskins stadium Q&A

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New Washington Redskins stadium Q&A

There are a lot of questions about the Redskins’ new stadium, something that Dan Snyder told Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez was in the planning stages. There are only partial answers but here is the best information we have on what to look for.

Where will it be built?

Snyder said that it could go in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia so that covers a lot of ground. The spot everyone focuses on is the current site of RFK Stadium in Washington. That was late owner Jack Kent Cooke’s preferred site for the stadium that ultimately ended up being FedEx Field. There are obstacles to getting it done there including the fact that the federal government must sign off on it, creating another later of red tape to deal with. But, to be sure, there are obstacles to getting it built anywhere.

Some speculation about a Maryland site centers on the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, just over the Wilson Bridge from Alexandria. That is an attractive area with hotels, restaurants, shops in place and a casino coming soon. But it has no Metro stop and the main access would be the Beltway, something that is considered to be one of the main drawbacks to FedEx Field.

There is no specific site in Virginia but you would have to think that the possibilities are being considered. The state is already home to Redskins Park and the team’s training camp in Richmond and there is little doubt that the state government would love to lure the other phase of the operation—playing the games—to the Commonwealth.

When will it be ready?

The short answer—don’t hold your breath. Cooke first announced his intention to build a new stadium to replace RFK in August of 1988. FedEx Field opened in 1997. The nine-year timetable is not exceptionally long, comparing it to stadiums being built or opened now.

Redskins fans who want to see this happen should hope it doesn’t turn out to be like the 49ers’ quest to replace Candlestick Park. My friend Matt Maiocco, 49ers reporter for CSNbayarea.com, told me that it took 30 years from when the Niners first started to consider a new stadium until the opening of Levi’s Stadium this year. The first funding ballot initiative took place in 1997.

It doesn’t have to take that long. In Atlanta, they started to seriously talk about replacing the Georgia Dome in 2010. Four years later construction is underway and the new stadium with a retractable dome is slated to open in time for the 2017 season.

The other new NFL stadium under construction, in Minneapolis, will end up being about a 10-year process. Plans were first announced in 2007. After some major setbacks in the Minnesota state legislature and a lot of searching for a suitable site, the location and funding were settled in 2013. It is scheduled to open for the 2016 season.

There are other factors that will play in to the opening date. Chief among them is the Redskins’ lease on FedEx Field, which isn’t up until 2027. This is not necessarily a deal breaker to opening a new stadium before that but it will require some negotiation.

What will it look like?

Here’s what Snyder said:

“We've already seen some preliminary drawings and I'm going to be very retro with it. It's gonna feel like RFK. It's gonna move like RFK. I love that, I actually asked architectural firms to do it and they said that they can do it. I said that I think the lower bowl sections are going to want to rock the stadium like the old days.”

The concept of a “retro” feel to a stadium is interesting. The recent stadiums opened in the NFL and the two slated to open in the near future have a very modern, even futuristic look and feel. Snyder could be going for what Baltimore did when Camden Yards was built, an old-time look and feel but with the modern amenities that fans expect these days.

However, fans expecting a cleaned-up version of RFK will be disappointed. That stadium held just over 50,000. That’s too small by today’s standards and way too small to host a Super Bowl, something Snyder said he would like to do in his new stadium.

Snyder said nothing about whether the preliminary drawings he’s had done were for an open-air venue, generally the least expensive option, a domed stadium, more costly than open air, or for a building with a retractable roof, usually the highest-priced way to go.

Who will pay?

Snyder will foot a good chunk of the bill. However, it’s unlikely that he will pay all of the construction costs like Cooke did (he did get some government help for roads and infrastructure). The reason? The costs have skyrocketed.

The $250 million that Cooke spent to build FedEx Field would translate to about $350 million in today’s dollars. But stadium costs have increased much more than just the cost of living would indicate. Levi’s Stadium (open air) cost $1.3 billion. The retractable roof facility in Atlanta will come in at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. The fixed-roof stadium in Minnesota is now estimated to cost $967 million but nobody would be surprised if it crept up over the billion-dollar mark by the time it opens.

Whatever portion Snyder does not pay will come from some combination of tax money and, possibly, personal seat licenses. Almost half of the teams in the NFL require fans to purchase licenses in order to buy season tickets. The new stadium in San Francisco and the upcoming facilities in Atlanta and Minneapolis all have some sort of PSL plans.

Some PSL’s are relatively inexpensive, others are way out of the reach of the average fan. PSL’s range from a low of $250 per seat in Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and other places to a high of $150,000 at Jerry Jones’ stadium in Dallas.

But before you season ticket holders get up in arms, wait and see. As noted above we are a long way from this happening and perhaps Snyder can find other financing options as the process unfolds.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 18, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough and then travel to New Orleans. No media availability.

Days until:

—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 6
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 13
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/19) 23

Quick Redskins news hits

C Spencer Long tried to play last week and he couldn’t make it more than a dozen snaps before sitting down for the rest of the day. He is out against the Seahawks tomorrow.

With Brian Quick and Ryan Grant questionable with concussions and Terrelle Pryor out with an ankle injury, the Redskins are down to three healthy wide receivers. While Quick and Grant might play, the depth chart could have Doctson, Crowder, and Harris on it.

The Redskins week that was

2 reasons Redskins didn't trade Terrelle Pryor—If you want to know why the deal with the Browns didn’t happen, follow the money. Between his signing bonus and the half of the year’s salary, the Redskins have already paid $4.5 million. Although he hasn’t been nearly as productive as they hoped he would be, there was no point in letting him go to save $1.5 million unless they got a second-day draft pick, or maybe a fourth, in return. See that Jay Gruden said that he didn’t hear of the proposed trade, talks must not have become too serious.

Remember Junior Galette? The Redskins don't seem to—As with Pryor, everyone is waiting for Galette to break out. But unlike Pryor, he’s not an expensive unproductive player. He’s making the veteran minimum. Against the Vikings, he played just 19 snaps. Perhaps a return to New Orleans for a game against his old team will spark a sack or two.

Recent comments from Cousins may hint at future in D.C.—Cousins has been big on making statements about the long-term future with the Redskins (read the post for specifics). That doesn’t mean that it’s a lock that he stays in town. But it should give some pause to those who believe that it is a lock that he will be in another uniform when 2018 or, at the latest, 2019 rolls around. He has never been inclined to go to the highest bidder and if the Redskins make a competitive offer that delivers what he wants he could well stick around.

How the Vikings scored 21 unanswered points against the Redskins—The 21-0 run in about seven minutes of game time that the Vikings used to make a competitive game at FedEx Field a rout was a combination of good offense by the Vikings and bad defense and offense by the Redskins. They couldn’t cover Adam Thielen on either drive. Cousins threw an interception off of his back foot and that set up the middle of the three touchdowns. If the Redskins end the season a game out of a playoff spot that seven-minute stretch will be one of the big reasons why they failed to make it.

Player one-liners, defense— Usually, the offensive edition of the player one-liners tends to be the most popular but this week it was the defense that drew the most interest. The defensive player I’m going to keep an eye on the most in the last seven games is rookie safety Montae Nicholson. He has the speed and hard hitting ability that the secondary needs. When asked what will happen when Nicholson is healthy, Jay Gruden said without hesitation that he is the starter. Nicholson’s health will be important for the defense down the stretch. DeAngelo Hall is better suited to a part-time role at this stage of his career.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.

In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.

RELATED: KEYS TO VICTORY AGAINST THE SAINTS

Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.

In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.

Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.

Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.

Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.

Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.

MORE ON THE REDSKINS: FIVE PLAYERS UNDER PRESSURE

Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.