Tuesday, April 14, 2015

McAuliffe Wants Redskins Park in Northern Virginia

Governor scrambles to set up move from Maryland.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 1:00 AM

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants part of his legacy to be snaring a deal to get the Washington Redskins to move from FedEx field in Maryland to Northern Virginia.

The Redskins are supposed to use FedEx field in Landover for the next 12 years, but there’s talk they may want new digs sooner, The Washington Post reports.

The ideal spot, according to the Post, would be at the old RFK field on the east side of the District of Columbia because of convenient road and Metro subway and rail ties. But it's owned by the city, so apparently there are problems in moving forward.

If Northern Virginia is the place, an ideal spot would be within a mile of the Capital Beltway, but such parcels are scarce. McAuliffe is pushing something on the Metro Silver Line extension past Dulles International Airport.

That would follow a certain logic. The National Football League team is based in Ashburn and Northern Virginia is where most of its players live.

Richmond was chosen as the summer training site for the team, but not all has worked out according to plans. In late 2012, City Council agreed to loan $10 million to the city’s Economic Development Authority for an eight-year deal that was supposed to pay for itself.

But a quarter of the way into an eight-year contract that brought the team's summer practices to town, the project is struggling to bring in projected revenues.

Money is also a factor with McAuliffe. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has given a $25,000 donation to McAuliffe’s campaign and $25,000 to the governor’s political action committee, according to public records.

It would cost maybe $1.5 billion for a new stadium.

As for me, I don’t really care where they go. But I do remember RFK back when it opened as D.C. Stadium in 1962. I was 9, and my dad took me to the opening game of the Washington Senators.

We saw President John F. Kennedy whip by in his limousine surrounded by Secret Service officers. They all wore cool eyeglasses.

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