Redskins working with Trump, Congress to get new stadium at RFK site
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
A new Washington Redskins gridiron battle is brewing.
But it’s got nothing to do with the team’s win-loss record.
“We need our ‘Skins here, home!” long-time fan Nolan Matthews said. “The Redskins need to come home where they belong.”
Now, several scenarios are unfolding to find a new home for the burgundy and gold.
One of the proposed options?
The RFK Stadium site in Southeast Washington, home to the Redskins during their days of Super Bowl glory.
“Maybe people here would love it more,” said Lyquasia Kinney, a professional dog walker who has a unique perspective on the pros and cons of having an NFL stadium in your neighborhood.
Kinney lives close to FedEx Field in Landover.
But her job of walking her four-legged friends keeps her busy near the RFK site.
While she thinks some DC fans will like it, she suspects bringing the Redskins back to the area will cause massive traffic and congestion headaches.
“I don’t think the residents would be too keen about it, just based on the traffic,” she said. “There’s already enough traffic in DC.”
The Washington Post is reporting that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is working with the Trump White House, District officials and GOP members of Congress to change the language in a federal spending bill.
A provision would extend a National Park Service lease of the RFK site, and would remove language that bans commercial development.
The Redskins are not commenting on the proposal.
But among those who are not fans of the idea is DC Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen.
“This is just greasing the skids for a billionaire team owner, and it’s just a giveaway,” he said. “A giant stadium that would be used eight days a year with an ocean of asphalt parking lots.”
Allen says a new stadium would cost $1 to 2 billion, and he fears taxpayers would pick up a lot of the tab.
He also notes a $490 million redevelopment project at RFK is already underway, part of which, is supposed to open next year.
The initial phase would include 27 acres of athletic fields, green space and walkways.
A sports and recreation complex, a 6,000-square foot pavilion, a visitors building and an RFK memorial are also planned.
Work on the project is to continue into 2021.
“We should be building more city,” Allen says. “We should be building our neighborhoods all the way down to the river’s edge, with housing, and new job creation. That’s where the opportunity really is.”
But Snyder isn’t the only one with ideas for a new Redskins home.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he has a potential site, too.
He says he has a memorandum of understanding with the Interior Department, to give the state control of a 600-acre site near National Harbor, that would include Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm.
“It’s a wonderful piece of property that the Department of Interior isn’t really using,” the governor said. “Could you imagine the stadium on Monday night football, with all the monuments reflecting on the Potomac River. It’d be the nicest facility in America.”
The Oxon Hill site would be close to highways and within a stone’s throw of the MGM National Harbor complex.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Lisa Dell, visiting the park from District Heights. “It’s convenient for some of the fans, so you have the space, why not?”
All the parties do have time.
The Redskins’ lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027.
Still, Matthews grows nostalgic when he talks about going to Redskins games at RFK stadium as a kid.
“They come home, they get more support, and it’ll boost them up,” he said. “I believe that would be very appropriate that they come home where they supposed to be.”