A new stadium and a Super Bowl in the DMV?
Dan Snyder and the Redskins are in the beginning stages of planning a new stadium. This means they have contacted architectural firms and are looking at locations to build. Snyder mentioned Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia as possible options in his interview with CSN Washington's Chick Hernandez. He wants to recapture the magic of RFK stadium, and wants the bounce back in the stadium designs. And of course Hernandez asked about Snyder's well documented desire to host a Super Bowl, preferably in the new stadium. A brief clip appears below outlining some of these points.
Snyder on the location of the stadium:
"Whether it's Washington, D.C., whether it's another stadium in Maryland, whether it's a stadium in Virginia, we've started the process," Snyder said.
"We are going to push forward. We've started meeting with architectural firms. We are in the process of developing because it is a long term that you do it."
Snyder's desire to make the new stadium have the same feel that RFK had:
"We've already seen some preliminary drawings and I'm going to be very retro with it," he told CSN. "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."
Snyder on a potential Super Bowl:
"I think this region, not only this town, this region deserves a Super Bowl. It ought to be here, it would be a fantastic accomplishment. It's the biggest sporting event in the globe. It's the nation's capital, it's a no-brainer."
There have been several potential locations for a new stadium mentioned, and Snyder's DC/Maryland/Virginia teaser doesn't help narrow it down, but there are a lot of factors that will go into this decision. The Redskins lease at FedEx Field isn't up until 2027, but Snyder has the ability to break the lease with significant financial penalties if he really wants a stadium sooner than later.
There is also the problem with the name change issue that has resonated with the public, politicians and media more than ever over the last few years. The D.C. City Council has publicly called for a name change for the team, and Maryland's current governor Martin O'Malley, and Richmond's mayor Dwight C. Jones have made statements saying the Redskins should probably change their name.
Virginia already has the Redskins headquarters in Ashburn, and were able to get the Redskins to locate their training camp in Richmond with millions of dollars in investments. Maryland has land that could be used in the National Harbor area that could be an attractive location for a stadium. Building in D.C. could be a headache for a lot of reasons, but the fans would probably love the return to the city.
Bruce Allen spoke about the issue last year with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and talked about a potential time table for a new stadium. The NFL has been awarding Super Bowls to new stadiums recently and that could continue for Washington when their new stadium is eventually finished.
Redskins President Bruce Allen told the Times-Dispatch last year that while an opening of a new stadium is still potentially 13 years away, it's the right time to lay the groundwork.
"We've been looking at different options," he said. "As we've noticed with other NFL teams, it really is a 10-year process when you're going to build a new stadium these days.
"There's people - you know, Prince George's County loves us, obviously the District would like to have us and we love our home in Ashburn, too."
That competition is likely to mean a big public subsidy from whichever locality the Redskins select - the average cost to build an NFL stadium in the past decade has grown to more than $750 million.
And one last note that hasn't been confirmed yet, but could definitely help Snyder's Super Bowl bid. It would most likely be a retractable roof if it happens, but that is a long way off.
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