The notion of the Virginia Governor suggesting a new Redskins stadium lands in D.C. seemed preposterous a year ago. Now, however, that may no longer be the case.
Since Redskins owner Dan Snyder suggested last summer he may be looking for a new stadium for his team when the current lease expires at FedEx Field in 2027, the debate instantly came to a new location. Currently the team plays in Landover, Md., and many fans would like to see the team move back into D.C. proper, particularly the old R.F.K. Stadium site. Politics and controversy surrounding the team name made an RFK reunion seem like a long-shot, though recent developments between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Snyder seem like positive steps have been made. With bipartisan support of the team and its name, Virginia had seemed a frontrunner for a new stadium to some.
Asked if the Redskins would eventually land with a stadium in Virginia, McAuliffe was vague: "I don't know that it will work at the end of the day. Maybe D.C."
McAuliffe's comments come as a surprise for folks that have followed the possible stadium process closely, especially as the controversy surrounding the team's name remains. WRVA host Jimmy Barrett said to the governor he thought the Redskins return to RFK was off the table because of the name, and McAuliffe made clear he was not sure that to be the case.
The governor has aggressively pursued a new Redskins stadium, which would entrench the franchise as Virginia's team as the Redskins are headquartered in Ashburn and hold training camp in Richmond. But the governor made clear a stadium deal would need to make economic sense, and until he can look at the Redskins financial data, he can't be sure.
"There's no deal that's a marquee trophy deal," McAuliffe said. "There's no deal you have to have. Now we chase every deal very aggressively, but then we get down to the numbers and we may have to walk away."
Despite the focus on the money, the governor made clear he wants the team in Virginia.
"Would I love the Redskins to move to Virginia? Sure I would," he said. "Does it make economic sense for us? I can't answer that question sitting on the radio today. We're not at that stage."
Negotiations and meetings will continue between Virginia and the Redskins.
"We have shown sites. I spoke to one of the owners yesterday on the phone to set up a meeting for myself coming up while they’re down here. I'm on it, but we will see what happens."
McAuliffe reiterated: "No deals you have to have."