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D.C. Congresswoman has proposed bill for RFK Stadium site as soon as Redskins change name

D.C. Congresswoman has proposed bill for RFK Stadium site as soon as Redskins change name

D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is prepared to bring a bill to Congress to buy the federal land that houses RFK Stadium in an effort to get a new facility built for the Washington football team. 

As soon as the Redskins change their name. 

"I certainly will. This is unused land. Unused Federal land. And the District can’t afford, because we have a height limit, to have any land go that goes unused. I couldn’t get this bill through even when Republicans controlled the House," Norton said Monday. "So I now believe I can get it through only after the name is changed for the good of the District of Columbia."

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Speaking exclusively with the Redskins Talk Podcast, Norton explained that a new stadium on the RFK site will make a tremendous economic impact for both the citizens of D.C. and for Redskins owner Dan Snyder.  

"Everybody wants to come to the nation’s capital. Events benefit tremendously by coming to the nation’s capital," the congresswoman said. "But you’ve got to have a place to hold those events. There was only one place to hold those events. And [not having] that place has - for no good reason - cost all those involved, including the District of Columbia, but above all Dan Snyder, a boatload, indeed a fortune, in revenue.”

The Redskins haven't played in D.C. since the late 1990s and, coincidental or not, the team has experienced barely any postseason success in that same time period. Norton might not be the biggest football fan, but she knows what's good for Washington football fans. 

"The time has come, it’s way overdue."

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser happy to see Redskins name change but hurdles remain for RFK

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser happy to see Redskins name change but hurdles remain for RFK

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sounded encouraged about the Redskins review of their team name but did not think that just changing the name would immediately deliver the team a new stadium. 

"I am happy to see the team and the league moving in a direction to change the name," Bowser said Monday on a call with reporters.

"I think the team called Washington anything should be playing in Washington."

For a few years Bowser publicly courted the Redskins to return to RFK Stadium, the site where the team found their greatest years of success on the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. In the late 1990s the Redskins moved out of D.C. into Maryland, and for many fans, nothing has been the same. At various points it looked like Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Bowser were making real progress towards a new stadium, but bureaucratic red tape always popped up, particularly because the RFK site sits on federal land that the city doesn't control. 

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Then more recently Bowser stopped playing as nice with the Redskins and said the team needed to change its name. Now it appears they will, but still the D.C. mayor doesn't sound too optimistic about that prospect.

"I would hardly say that the name is the only issue."

RELATED: HOW WOULD NAME CHANGE AFFECT RFK PLANS?

Bowser also brought up the news that 40 percent of the Redskins is up for sale, a story reported by Pro Football Talk and The Washington Post on Sunday. Snyder has three partners that account for nearly half of the organization's ownership, and according to the reports, all three partners want out.

To Bowser, that's a chance to expand the ownership group.

"I actually think this would be a great opportunity for the team and the league to look for more diversity in ownership," the mayor said. 

The Redskins current lease at FedEx Field in Landover expires in 2027, and the RFK site sits vacant and largely unused. 

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If the Redskins change their name, what does that mean for RFK Stadium?

If the Redskins change their name, what does that mean for RFK Stadium?

Check social media and there's a clear split between some Redskins fans that are thrilled about the team possibly changing their name while others are heartbroken. 

What Redskins fans agree upon is that the team needs a new stadium, and when the current lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, whatever the team is called will likely be playing in a new facility.

But where will it be?

Well, assuming the Redskins do actually change their name, the talks with local governments about a new stadium will change dramatically. Washington owner Dan Snyder has publicly talked about wanting to return to RFK Stadium in D.C., but it's been made clear by numerous politicians that the Redskins won't get a new stadium deal done unless the name gets changed. 

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In the past that meant no stadium. That's changed.

With a new name, RFK could be back on the table. 

It also could mean Maryland and Virginia are able to re-engage with the organization on stadium talks. Both states have interest in a new stadium, and with all of the bureaucratic issues that come with the RFK site sitting on federal land, even with a new name it might still be easier to get a deal done with Maryland or Virginia. Or those states could offer sweeter packages. 

RELATED: SMOOT SAYS REDSKINS HAVE NARROWED CHOICE DOWN TO TWO OR THREE OPTIONS

Here's the truth: Politicians are fickle and go where the wind blows.

The Redskins name made a stadium deal hard for many politicians, and if the name goes, a deal gets easier. It removes a huge hurdle on a massive, multi-billion project, and fewer hurdles means faster progress. 

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