In case you missed it over the weekend, The Post reported that Virginia, led by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, is putting forth a strong effort to lure Daniel Snyder’s Redskins to Loudoun County. Snyder has expressed interest in building a stadium to replace FedEx Field, and although the lease there doesn’t run out until 2027, the search for the next site is well underway.
Consider this, from the story by Jonathan O’Connell and John Woodrow Cox:
“Virginia is playing stronger and smarter than the other two entities,” said a team source who has direct knowledge of the negotiations. “Maryland got started later and has a lot to put together.” And for the moment, the person added, “D.C. is not in play.”
The team has an appealing trio of choices from three governments who all stand to benefit by being the home of the new stadium. Virginia, home of the practice facilities and training camp, wants to be the home of all things Redskins. Maryland, home of FedEx Field, wants to keep the team. And Washington, D.C. is home to RFK Stadium, a ready-made site, not to mention one that’s revered among fans who’ve lived here for any length of time.
On the D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg and Clinton Yates have an interesting point-counterpoint about the team potentially skipping right over D.C. on its way from Maryland to Virginia.
Yates argues that Virginia might be best for both the team and The District, which is home to all the other pro teams in the region and has done okay for itself since the NFL took its act to P.G. County in 1997.
The mythical link of civic pride in the name “Washington” to being located within actual city limits died long ago for this football team. The political priority of keeping an NFL team is drastically lower when the pro baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer teams all now play here. Would it alienate Maryland fans? Maybe, but no more so than the current situation already does for fans on the other side of the Potomac River.
Fans, Steinberg writes, should shed a tear for old D.C. if the team moves to Loudoun.
Fans would no doubt still rejoice if the Loudoun-based Redskins win a Super Bowl. They would still flood the parade route, wherever it ran. But the song talks about fighting for ol’ D.C., not for ol’ Brambleton or mighty Waxpool. A move west might be inevitable, but it’s still sad.
On one hand, how Washington football fans feel about a new stadium would likely be determined by the quality of the experience at said stadium. We’re clearly too far out to have much insight on what that would be like, although Steinberg wrote in August about Snyder’s wishes:
“I’m going to be very retro with it. It’s going to feel like RFK. It’s going to move like RFK. I love that. I actually asked the architectural firm to do it, and they said they could do it, so I said I think that the local bowl sections are going to want to rock the stadium like the old days.”
A new stadium in Loudoun may look and feel like RFK, and saying it will have Metro access sounds convenient, but can you imagine the time spent on the rails coming from Glenmont, Greenbelt, New Carrollton or Largo Town Center, to the Route 606 or 772 stop? It won’t feel like getting to RFK for most; it’ll feel like getting to FedEx.
There are those who want to see the Redskins call the team by a new name, and think change is inevitable. Then there are those who think a name change is inevitable, so long as the promise of a new stadium on the RFK site and a potential Super Bowl is in play.
Sixty-one percent of the first 768 people to take this poll believe the team belongs in The District, followed by 27% for Virginia and 12% for Maryland. What do you think?
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