RICHMOND—The lush, green turf is down on the practice fields. The goal posts are up. There are lockers in the locker room.
Work remains to be done on the Washington Redskins’ training camp site that is under construction in Richmond. But officials said Monday that they expect that work to be completed by the end of June, and Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen pronounced the team pleased with the results so far.
“We knew what we needed at this training camp for this limited time,” Allen said. “It’s actually going to be a little bit nicer, because it’s brand new, than we probably would want because you like the idea that training camp is a tough time. That’s where there is a little bit of suffering going on in order to succeed later on in life. They’re going to embrace this and like it.”
Media members were given a hard-hat tour of the site Monday. The two-story building adjacent to the practice fields remains under construction, with work still to be done on the team’s locker room, weight room and trainers’ room that will be on the building’s bottom floor. But things are shaping up.
The Redskins will have two practice fields, plus a smaller third field for drills. All are natural-grass fields. There is an area for a possible future indoor practice facility. Paving work on the parking lots has not begun.
Players are to be shuttled in vans between the training camp site and the nearby hotel that the team will use.
Construction began Jan. 9 and is scheduled to be completed June 30. The Redskins are scheduled to begin their training camp July 25.
“We will have this facility ready for a grand opening in July,” said Dwight Jones, the mayor of Richmond.
The Redskins agreed to an eight-year deal for the team to hold its training camp in Richmond. The agreement does not contain an exit clause, officials said.
Allen said that he and other Redskins officials were “very hands-on” in the planning of the facility.
“Every dimension of the football area, we approved,” Allen said. “We tried to work with the city because this is going to be a multi-purpose facility when we’re not here. I think we reached the goals of both the city and the Redskins.”
Allen called the location of the camp “perfect,” explaining that the team’s D.C.-area fans are accustomed to the team going away to past training camps. The site will enable the team’s fans in Virginia and North Carolina to have improved access to training camp, Allen said.
Having camp away from the team’s regular season training facility in Ashburn will give players time to form “a special bond” that improves the chances of on-field success, according to Allen, who added that the organization also hopes to have a positive impact on the community with its choice of a training camp site.
“Most teams go to rural locations, small colleges somewhere…. The other teams are all coming back to their facilities for training camp,” Allen said. “We embraced the idea of coming into a city. We talked to Washington, D.C., about it. We like the idea of positively affecting young people, giving them access to the team that they can’t have during the regular season. And so we embrace the opportunity to really help some kids.”
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