Could the Washington Redskins be returning to the site of RFK Stadium? According to the Washington Post, the Redskins are working with D.C. city officials, the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans to “insert a stadium provision into the massive spending bill that the Republican-controlled Congress is rushing to complete this month” that would build a new 60,000-seat stadium on the site of RFK Stadium.
The provision won’t guarantee the deal for the Redskins’ new stadium to be built but it will allow for what is described as “sidestepping” public debate and gives the Redskins leverage against other possible projects vying for the site. Ultimately the D.C. City Council will control the property, but the provision will give the Redskins momentum for a return to D.C.
The Redskins played at RFK Stadium from 1961-1996. During that span the franchise won three Super Bowls and hosted 12 playoff games, winning 11, including the 1972, 1982, 1983, 1987 and 1991 NFC Championship games.
The Redskins moved to FedEx Field in 1997, then named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium after the late longtime owner, in nearby Landover, Maryland.
The quickly constructed bowl stadium has seemingly run its course compared to the state-of-the-art NFL stadiums that have followed.
The Redskins announced nearly three years ago their plans for a new stadium, including showing off potential designs. Since, local and federal officials representing D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have pleaded their cases for having the Redskins to call their respective jurisdiction home.
The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, however according to NBC Sports Washington, the Redskins can get out of their current lease earlier if they build their new stadium in Prince George’s County where the team plays now. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has moved forward with exploring a site adjacent to the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Momentum for the Redskins choosing Virginia for a new stadium — the state the team’s headquarters and practice facility is currently located — has dwindled. For years former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has clamored for the Redskins to play somewhere in the Commonwealth. However, according to the Washington Post’s report current Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is “less feverish” now that Amazon announced plans for their “HQ2” in Arlington.
A return to Washington, D.C. has always appeared to be the more logical move for fans in large due to the team’s success while playing in the nation’s capital as well as the easier access for a fan base that travels from all three nearby jurisdictions to see the games.
Even with the provision there could be a great deal of drawback from some city officials and residents against a new stadium in D.C. There has been multiple projected plans through the years over what to do with the land at the RFK Stadium site. And the opposition would not cease with the reported provision. We shall see how things turn out but if you’re a fan of the the team returning to D.C. this is a first step towards that.