The old icons of the Washington sports world are fast receding. In the past week alone, the family of Jack Kent Cooke gave up its 25-year control of the Redskins, and officials said US Airways Arena is likely to be demolished to make room for a shopping and entertainment complex.
It took nine months and $800 million to seal a deal for the Redskins. But weeks after New York financier Howard Milstein withdrew his purchase offer in the face of opposition by league owners, it took the owners a mere two minutes to unanimously approve the bid of a group headed by Daniel M. Snyder, who would have been a minority partner under Milstein's plan.
Snyder, 34, a Bethesda marketing executive who forked out the biggest sum ever paid for a U.S. sports franchise, said his aim is true.
"I'm a fan, a huge fan. It's that simple," he declared. And though he's worth a cool $500 million, "your most pressing issue is no different than mine," he added. "You want to win, we want to win, and we're going to deliver that."
And then there was the issue of the 25-year-old arena, which once was home to Washington's professional basketball and hockey teams. Developer David Cordish said a plan to tear down the arena is "99 percent definite."
But Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) said he isn't ready to give the go-ahead to the wrecking ball on the county-owned property. "The negotiations are ongoing," he said.
CAPTION: A developer wants to tear down US Airways Arena, but Prince George's County officials are reluctant to let it be demolished.