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The Redskins Stadium Timeline
When Jack Kent Cooke Stadium opens Sunday, it will end a decade-long quest for a new home for the Redskins. Led by team owner Jack Kent Cooke — who did not live to see the opening of the stadium named for him — the long journey began in Washington, then wound through Alexandria, Washington again, and Laurel before finally settling in Prince George's County. In between, there were overtures from Fairfax and Loudoun counties. And always, there was political posturing. Follow the stadium saga with washingtonpost.com's timeline:

1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997

1987
Aug. 22: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke today expressed dissatisfaction with Robert F. Kennedy Stadium and said he would like to see a domed football stadium for his team in the District of Columbia that could accommodate between 70,000 and 75,000 spectators.

Sept. 1: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke has been in contact with John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, about the possibility of building a domed football stadium in Fairfax County.

Sept. 16: D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, saying he would do "everything in my power" to keep the Washington Redskins in the city, announced plans yesterday to retain a consulting firm to explore the possibility of building a 75,000-seat stadium for the football team.

Oct. 16: The son of Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke has met privately with a Loudoun County developer about the possibility of building a football stadium in eastern Loudoun County near Dulles International Airport, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

1988
Feb. 9: A group of private investors said yesterday it is prepared to build at its expense a 75,000-seat domed stadium near Dulles International Airport in the event of unsuccessful negotiations between Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and the D.C. government to keep the team in the District.

Aug. 27: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke pledged yesterday to foot the entire bill for a new, 78,000-seat, open-air, natural-grass stadium -- preferably within Washington's city limits — and said he hoped his team could move in as early as the 1991 season.

Sept. 27: Mayor Marion Barry told a private luncheon of business leaders yesterday that he and Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke have "reached an agreement" on building a new football stadium in the District with only the details to be worked out, according to sources who were at the luncheon.

Oct. 13: Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday that he and Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke "still have some distance to go" before they can reach an agreement on a new football stadium in the District.

1989
Sept. 28: Although the Washington Redskins' lease at RFK Stadium expires at the end of the 1990 season, the land proposed for a new stadium remains untouched, and District of Columbia officials and team owner Jack Kent Cooke are playing a tenuous waiting game with one another.

1990
Aug. 4: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and the D.C. Armory Board have all but finalized an agreement for a new football stadium that will keep the Redskins in the District, sources said yesterday.

Oct. 31: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke is reviewing a proposal for a sports complex near Dulles Airport that would include a football stadium for his team and a baseball stadium that would be built if Northern Virginia gets a major league team, sources said.

Nov. 29: Negotiations between Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and the D.C. Armory Board about a new football stadium that would keep the Redskins in the District have taken a more positive direction recently, a source familiar with the negotiations said yesterday.

1991
Jan. 24: Jack Kent Cooke has written D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon concerning his efforts to build a new football stadium for his Washington Redskins, and Dixon evidently is trying to arrange a meeting with Cooke.

June 11: Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon said yesterday that the District was close to reaching an agreement with Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke to build a 78,600-seat stadium in the city.

July 13: A relaxed and upbeat Jack Kent Cooke, clearly confident that any remaining differences with city officials will be resolved, said it was "almost a given" that he'll build the new home for his Washington Redskins in the District.

1992
Jan. 25: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, facing a March 2 deadline in his negotiations with the District over a new football stadium, is scouting sites in Fairfax County.

Mar. 31: Representatives of Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke have just about wrapped up negotiations on a new stadium and hope to meet this week to complete the deal, according to District government and other sources.

Apr. 3: Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke told Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr. yesterday that he cannot meet Lujan's deadline today for concluding negotiations with the District on a new football stadium and again warned that he may take the project -- and the team -- to the suburbs.

Apr. 4: Virginia officials and developers came off the sidelines yesterday and began to eagerly woo the Washington Redskins after the sudden collapse of negotiations between the District and Jack Kent Cooke over a new football stadium.

Aug. 21: The Post writes an editorial criticizing the plan to build a stadium in Alexandria.

May 27: Less than two months after Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke broke off negotiations with the District of Columbia, sources familiar with his plans said yesterday that Cooke intends to build a new stadium for his National Football League team in time for the 1994 season. One of the sources said Cooke will announce final plans in June for the facility, which will cost $175 million and seat 78,600.

July 8: Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke signed an agreement last month to negotiate the construction of a football stadium in Alexandria, with the understanding that Cooke would pay roughly half of a planned $250 million deal to build the stadium and the state would provide the other half for public improvements.

Sept. 15: D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly has offered to negotiate with Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke a "more favorable" short-term lease at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in hopes of getting him to reconsider his decision not to build a new stadium in the District, aides close to Kelly said yesterday.

Oct. 15: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and Gov. L. Douglas Wilder yesterday abandoned their plan to build a stadium at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, as Cooke rejected concessions that Wilder said were necessary to keep the proposal alive.

Nov. 26: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke formally renewed negotiations with the District yesterday to build a new stadium in the nation's capital, four months after vowing to move his team to Alexandria.

Dec. 8: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and District officials reached an agreement yesterday on building a 78,600-seat stadium for the team in the city.

1993
Feb. 6: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and negotiators for the District signed a formal agreement yesterday on plans to build a new football stadium for the team here.

Mar. 4: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke has billed Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and the state pension fund more than $2.1 million for Cooke's expenses in last year's failed attempt to bring the team to Alexandria, including 315 hours of his time at $350 an hour.

Oct. 28: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's hopes of building a new home for the team by the 1995 football season have been sacked by delays in completing an environmental study and other governmental hurdles, according to several people close to the project.

Dec. 8: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke said yesterday that he had chosen a site near Laurel Race Course in suburban Maryland as the football team's future home.

Dec. 10: In the strongest declaration of his stadium plans yet, Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke paid for a tract of land near Laurel Race Course yesterday as he launched an intensive effort to build political support for building a new stadium in suburban Maryland.

Dec. 11: In the strongest declaration of his stadium plans yet, Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke told the Kelly administration yesterday that he has no intention of resuming talks with the District to build a new football complex in the city.

1994
Mar. 10: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke finally got the welcome he wanted from Maryland today when Gov. William Donald Schaefer and legislative leaders wiped away major political obstacles to Cooke's dream of a 78,600-seat stadium in Laurel.

Apr. 21: Jack Kent Cooke's proposal to build a $160 million stadium for the Washington Redskins in Laurel went from a vision to an official plan yesterday when the team owner formally began the zoning process in Anne Arundel County.

July 12: Both sides walked away smiling yesterday from the first day of zoning hearings on the Washington Redskins' proposed stadium in Laurel.

Oct. 13: An Anne Arundel County hearing officer rejected the Washington Redskins' plan for a new football stadium near Laurel yesterday, prompting frustrated team owner Jack Kent Cooke to call D.C. mayoral candidate Marion Barry about keeping the team in town after all.

1995
Apr. 2: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke is focusing his quest for a stadium site in Prince George's County and is especially interested in a tract known as the Wilson Farm west of USAir Arena inside the Capital Beltway, sources close to the project said yesterday.

May 11: Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry met yesterday with Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke to discuss the possibility of building a new stadium for the team in Prince George's.

Nov. 2: Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry has rescinded a proposal to sell public property in Landover for construction of a football stadium after rejection of the offer by Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke.

Nov. 9: Eighty-three-year-old Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke said yesterday that he plans to keep the National Football League team in the metropolitan area as long as he's around -- and after he's gone as well.

Dec. 4: After months of contentious negotiations, Maryland and Prince George's County leaders reached an agreement yesterday with Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke that cleared the way for a new 78,600-seat stadium in Landover, where the team could begin play as early as 1997.

1996
Feb. 7: Jack Kent Cooke moved a step closer last night to his dream of a new home for his Washington Redskins, as the Prince George's County Council approved his plan to build a 78,600-seat football stadium in Landover.

Feb. 24: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke agreed with state and local officials yesterday on the final financing details for a new stadium in Prince George's County, prompting Maryland General Assembly leaders to predict that the arrangement will be ratified in Annapolis next month.

Mar. 22: Making last-minute promises to pour millions of dollars into schools and other projects, Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening won legislative approval today to build two professional football stadiums in the state, arguably the biggest victory of his 14-month-old administration.

Apr. 14: While Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) was negotiating with Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke last year over a deal to build a football stadium in Landover, one of Curry's key former campaign aides was working as a paid "community consultant" for Cooke, making at least $10,000.

May 5: When Jack Kent Cooke outlined his plans to build a stadium for the Redskins in Maryland, he promised to put Prince George's County on the map before a global audience of football fans.

Oct. 2: Sale of the Wilson Farm -- the 200-acre site near Landover where the new Redskins football stadium is under construction -- to team owner Jack Kent Cooke was completed yesterday by Prince George's County officials.

Dec. 22: The Redskins play their last game at RFK Stadium. Read our look back at the history of RFK Stadium.

Dec. 28: Rising out of the raw earth like a massive steel-and-concrete lotus, the Washington Redskins' new stadium is rapidly nearing full bloom in Prince George's County. But for many residents around the 200-acre site just inside the Capital Beltway near U.S. Route 50, bloom means gloom.

1997
Jan. 30: Federal agents raided the construction site of the new Washington Redskins stadium early yesterday and arrested 19 workers suspected of being in the country illegally.

Apr. 6: Jack Kent Cooke dies. Read washingtonpost.com's special report on Cooke's life.

Apr. 17: The Post writes an editorial complimenting the decision to name the stadium after Jack Kent Cooke.

July 5: The Post writes an editorial debating the merits of the stadium's high-level security system.

Aug. 11: The Post writes an editorial disussing the "natural" grass being installed at Cooke Stadium.

Aug. 27: The Washington Redskins won final approval yesterday for their liquor license at the new Jack Kent Cooke football stadium in Landover.

© Copyright 1997 washingtonpost.com

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