Apparently, the stadium builders in the mid-1990s didn't know how to build a place that could last for more than a couple decades.
MLB's Atlanta Braves have plans to ditch Turner Field, which was built in conjunction with the 1996 Summer Olympics. Now Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is excited about moving from his stadium, which was opened in 1997. He told CSN Washington in an exclusive interview that the process of designing a new stadium has already started.
Hey FexEd Field, it has been a good run of nearly 20 years. But they don't make 'em like Lambeau anymore.
“I'd like to see it sooner than later, but we love FedEx Field,” Snyder told CSN Washington. “It's a great place to feature our home games, but it's 17 years old now. I think it's time for us to start looking and we're doing it."
It's 17 years old now? OK, then.
If the Redskins want a new stadium because they realized a mistake moving out to the suburbs and want to get back to their Washington, D.C. roots, it would be somewhat understandable. But Snyder doesn't seem to care where they move. He just wants a new place.
“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 told CSN Washington.
That might not sit well with the people of Landover, Md., where the Redskins moved to. The taxpayers spent $70.5 million for "land, sewer lines, highway interchanges and other infrastructure," so the Redskins could move there, according to a Baltimore Sun article from 1997. The stadium itself, at $180 million, was financed privately.
Maybe Snyder is a bit envious. The Redskins' stadium isn't the best in the league, but it's not bad. It's just not as nice as the billion-dollar stadiums that NFC rivals Dallas and the New York Giants have. Snyder didn't own the team when the current stadium was built.
Snyder talked about how he wants the new stadium to be like old RFK Stadium, down to how the lower bowl rocked up and down like it did during the team's glory days (as an aside, when you hear Snyder waxing nostalgic about his childhood rooting for the team, you realize he's not going to be the one to change the team's controversial nickname, ever) and how a new stadium could lure a Super Bowl.
What will be interesting is if Snyder plans to finance this new stadium himself. It's rare that no tax money is spent when there's a new stadium, at least on the same things that were required when the Redskins moved to Landover. If Snyder is willing to pay the entire cost, he basically can do whatever he wants. But if the taxpayers have to kick in, wherever the new stadium will go, they'll have good reason to ask if they're getting more than a 20-year commitment for their investment.
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