Bruce Allen says having camp in Richmond was success for Redskins

Fans, Gary Mills

Gary Mills was one of approximately 160,000 Redskins fans who attended camp in Richmond this year. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND — General Manager Bruce Allen said as the Washington Redskins prepared to break training camp in Richmond that he regards the team’s first camp in the city as a major success.

“This has worked out, as you all have seen, tremendously,” said Allen, who added later during a morning news conference Friday: “We’re pleased with it. We look forward to the future.”

According to Allen, expectations were that the Redskins would draw roughly 100,000 fans to their new camp site in the first year of their eight-year deal to hold their training camp in Richmond. Instead, the Redskins were poised on Friday to surpass 160,000 in total attendance for the camp. Allen said the team will “prepare for that better” in the future but added: “No one is ever disappointed when the crowds are more than you want.”

Allen said he was thankful for the mild weather the team experienced and expressed confidence that the Redskins being away from home for training camp will pay dividends.

“I think the practices have gone well,” Allen said. “The camaraderie that we wanted by going away for a training camp was effective. The players are bonding. It’s great that they’re in the third year of Coach [Mike] Shanahan’s program because there’s not as much teaching in the classroom that is necessary. They know what’s expected of them. They know the routine. And I think we improved.”

According to Allen, the team alone booked 4,400 hotel room nights, served 15,000 meals and went through 34,000 water bottles and 18,000 Gatorade bottles during camp.

Related: Fans from Richmond and further south get to experience Redskins up close

Allen said he was particularly proud of the programs the Redskins put in effect in conjunction with training camp to have an impact on the community, focusing especially on helping children.

The Redskins moved their camp in part to make it accessible to a segment of its fan base that was unlikely to travel to its regular season training facility in Ashburn for training camp.

Allen was asked about the possibility of a future Redskins’ stadium being built in Virginia and said: “This has always been Redskins nation. And the Redskin nation really runs through the Carolinas going back to when the Redskins were really the only southern team. We’ve been looking at different options with a stadium. Our lease isn’t up until 2027. But as we notice with other NFL teams, it really is a 10-year process when you’re going to build a new stadium these days. We have plenty of time to discuss that down the road. There’s people — Prince George’s County loves us. Obviously the District would like to have us. And we love our home in Ashburn too.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● Washington hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday at 8 p.m. in their first game of the preseason at FedEx Field.

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