D.C. officials say they have identified a parcel for the team facilities and are in talks with the Redskins about relocating from a training center in Virginia. Still, there is no agreement, and leaders in surrounding neighborhoods worry that a football facility would scuttle development plans in place for nearly a decade.
“There is no deal,” said D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who has a key role in the talks. “There are conversations.”
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), a longtime Redskins fan, has taken a personal interest in the effort. He has tasked City Administrator Allen Y. Lew with developing a plan that could entice the team.
Gray, Evans and other officials have met several times with top team representatives over the past year, including General Manager Bruce Allen. At Allen’s suggestion, Gray, Evans and council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) quietly toured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ state-of-the-art facility in November.
“We are talking to them — absolutely,” said Pedro Ribeiro, Gray’s spokesman. “I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody.”
The discussions do not include building a new Redskins stadium. But city officials hope that a training facility could be a prelude to building one when the team’s lease on FedEx Field in Landover expires in 2027, if not sooner.
The Redskins have considered a replacement for their training center, Ashburn’s 162-acre Redskins Park, for at least two years. Coaches and players have groaned about the aging facility, now in its 20th year of use, and the long distance from FedEx Field.
Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie acknowledged that the team is mulling over possibilities, but he declined to comment specifically on the District’s proposal. “We are exploring all of our options,” he said.
The plan is the culmination of talks between the Redskins and city leaders that date to 2008, under former mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).
“They were interested, but we couldn’t come together in agreement in terms of who pays for what and finding a site,” said Neil O. Albert, who was a deputy mayor and city administrator then.
The land now under consideration is the northernmost portion of a 67-acre parcel known as Reservation 13, or Hill East, that is the site of the former D.C. General Hospital and city social-service facilities.
Drastic switch for Hill East
The property is yards from RFK Stadium, where such legends as Sonny Jurgensen and Darrell Green made history in games about which team owner Daniel M. Snyder still waxes rhapsodic.
In selecting the property — about 30 acres, the size of the Tampa facility — city leaders are hoping to take advantage of the link to the team’s winning past.