The Redskins have been headquartered in Northern Virginia for 40 years now, ever since Coach George Allen convinced Jack Kent Cooke to build a shiny new headquarters in a mostly desolate part of Herndon near Dulles Airport. Joe Gibbs famously slept there. That Redskins Park was replaced in 1992 by the current one in Ashburn.
But after owner Daniel Snyder made some noises in February about looking for another location, Prince George’s County in Maryland decided to make its move. After all, they’ve already got that lousy stadium with the awful parking and the terrible traffic. Not to mention a long history of corruption problems.
The county has requested a feasibility study for a weedy piece of land in Bowie, and according to TBD.com, has committed to coming up with one-third of the $25,000 needed for the study (officials want state agencies to pay for the other two-thirds). “Hey, we’ve got $8,333 here, let’s get us an NFL franchise!” Officials cite the convenience of practicing and playing in the same location, and allowing players and officials to avoid a long commute in a traffic-choked region, regardless of whether they live near their practice facility or their stadium.
But on the Virginia side of the Potomac, folks see it differently. Redskin players have lived and loved, lounged and luxuriated in NoVa for four decades. Practically everyone here has had a Redskin or their kid as a friend or neighbor. Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, said that just the summer training camp in Ashburn brought a $1 million benefit to the county, and “there’s nothing wrong with having several dozen millionaires living in your community.”
The ‘Skins have also been good corporate citizens, Howard said. The chamber can’t meddle with any decision to move, but he noted that Loudoun’s “quality of life is second to none. That’s going to be a pretty important factor when they make their decision.”
Having your practice facility and headquarters close to the thoroughly unenjoyable pit where you play eight times a year could be seen as beneficial. Or it could end a stress-free, 40-year partnership.
Here’s a better idea: Build a new stadium in Loudoun, at the end of the new Silver Line Metro, where the planned final stop is in...Ashburn.