In recent weeks, Washington Football Team president Jason Wright has worked to be transparent when it comes to the timeline of one of the biggest changes coming for the organization: a new team name.
Yet, beyond that franchise-altering decision sits another potential move that has many wondering when it may come. That relates to a new stadium for the team, maybe with a new name, to play its games. Initial discussions of negotiations and locations have lingered in prior months, but no concrete information has been shared.
On his latest podcast, Standig Room Only, The Athletic's Ben Standig talked to Wright about what was in the works with a new stadium and if there was a time an announcement on future plans could be expected.
“Is there a point where you think, six months, three years, whatever it is that the decision needs to be made by or a point that we can say ‘hey on this time of the year, this year, expect some news?'" Standig asked.
Wright, continuing to be transparent, admitted that it would be hard to know at this time when more information could present itself due to the complex and intricate decisions that come with finding a new home for the team. Even remodeling FedEx Field would take time.
“It’s not a one-year project to build a stadium, right? So if you think about how quickly we would need to move in order to even be ready for a 2027 opening, whether that’s a reopening of FedEx or a new location somewhere else, a new revamped experience," Wright said. "You actually sort of need to start now.
“So we’re under the gun. I don’t have any hard timelines in mind because at this stage it’s very people-oriented. That’s a hard thing to rush and push.”
Wright believes a project of this magnitude is even more difficult considering what the franchise has experienced in recent months. With reports of alleged culture problems in the organization and a move away from a name that many viewed as problematic, Wright and others are now working to rebuild the reputation of the organization.
So in order to get a new stadium, they first need to get important officials who may have doubts back on board.
“Frankly, we need to reintroduce ourselves to the community and government leaders," Wright said. "It’s not like everything is on the up and ups with everybody. There’s a bit of reintroducing who we are, our strategy, our values. The kind of corporate citizens we want to be. That takes a little bit of time."
Creating a new experience for fans at Washington games is a priority for Wright and the organization, but like the name change itself, it's going to take time. New beginnings this big can't be rushed, because they need to be perfect.
"No hard deadlines that I can share," Wright said. "But we’re moving quickly because it takes a long time to put something like this together.”