Changes may becoming to the location of facilities for two D.C.-area sports teams, the Redskins and D.C .United. But while soccer is getting the cold shoulder, leaders are trying to entice a football team that won’t help the District at all. It would do more to help the city by urging the Redskins to keep their practice facilities and stadium away.
Major League Soccer is surveying fans to see how they would feel about D.C. United moving to Baltimore. They’ve long been unhappy with RFK Stadium, and considered several D.C. sites, but always needed the District to provide some public assistance, at least to fund associated infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council members Jack Evans and Michael Brown took a secret trip to Tampa to visit the Buccaneers’ practice facilities. Mike DeBonis reports that “the current thinking” is to take about half of the 50-acre Hill East planned development for a Redskins practice facility, then build a new stadium once the Redskins’ lease in Landover expires in 2027.
Not only would spending any taxpayer money on this scheme be extremely foolish, it’s a bad idea even if the Redskins bought the land at market value and financed everything themselves, which they surely don’t actually plan to do. In fact, having any Redskins facilities or stadium anywhere inside the District would be harmful to its future.
As DeBonis notes, Hill East, aka Reservation 13, is slated to become a mixed-use community with access to Metro on one side and the river on the other. Progress has been stalled because of the economy, but the economy will pick up, and the District needs to be thinking long term.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.