Redskins

Redskins

The Redskins might have a site for their planned new stadium offered to them, but they will need to answer the phone first.

A new 65,000-seat football stadium is among the possibilities that Events DC, the sports and entertainment arm of the D.C. government, is considering for the land on which RFK Stadium, the Redskins’ former home, and the DC Armory currently sit.

Events DC will present ideas for six possible uses for the land at a meeting tonight. Two of the six would involve a new stadium for the Redskins. Another possibility is an arena that would replace the Verizon Center as the home of the Wizards and Capitals. According to the Washington Post, other projects being considered include “playing fields, a field house, a water park and a sports-and-entertainment complex that officials likened to Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.”

A stadium or basketball/hockey arena probably wouldn't open for at least another decade. The Redskins, Wizards, and Caps all have leases in their current facilities that expire in 2027. 

The site has long been considered by many to be an ideal spot for a new football stadium, with a Metro stop already is service and a location that makes for easy access by automobile from points all around the metropolitan area.

In addition, stadium concept plans recently unveiled by Dutch architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) show an area around the stadium that can be used year round, including a moat around the stadium. Such a design could allay objections, voiced by residents of the area surrounding the stadium, to using the land to construct a building that would be used just 10 times a year.

 

But neighborhood opposition will remain and that is just one of several daunting obstacles that stand in the way of the Redskins once again playing in a stadium on the banks of the Anacostia River.

The first thing that has to happen is that the Redskins have to answer the phone when it rings with a 202 area code. According to the article in the Post the Redskins have not returned phone calls from Events DC. That is an important first step in the process.

Other issues that could keep a stadium at the site from becoming a reality are money—the Redskins and the NFL would contribute to the cost, which likely will be over $1 billion, but a good chunk of government money will be needed—and the name of the team. Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed opposition to the name and any financial contributions that DC makes could be made contingent on the team changing the name. In addition, the U. S. Congress would have to approve an extension of the District’s lease on the land and it’s possible that any such approval will have a name-change string attached to it.