By Rich Tandler
Are the Washington Redskins headed to Washington? It appears that’s what the D. C. City Council would like to make happen, at least on every day but game day.
According to a reporting the Washington Times, some members of the council recently went to Tampa to check out the Bucs’ training facility, one of the largest in the NFL. According to a source cited by the Times, they took the trip as a preliminary step towards putting together an offer for the Redskins to move their headquarters from Ashburn, Virginia to a site near RFK Stadium.
The Redskins have been in their current facility since 1992 and at some point it will be time to move to a more modern building. The team is currently constructing a temporary indoor training facility, which will prevent them from having to move practice to airport hangars and health clubs during lightning storms and snow and ice.
However, the field with an inflated roof will only serve the purpose in the short term and eventually a permanent structure will have to be built. The problem is that Redskins Park is located on a flood plain. There are four full-sized football fields there but a state of the art indoor practice facility can’t be built on such an area.
The bottom line is that it is not a matter of if the Redskins will move, it’s a matter of when and where. And the District government would like to be in the “where” part of the equation.
There were reports earlier this year that a site near Bowie State University in Maryland was under consideration. And there is no question that Virginia would put up a fight before allowing the Redskins to flee to another jurisdiction.
It is likely that nothing will happen anytime soon. According to the Times article, it would take about three and a half years to clear the proposed site and build the facility. Since it seems that it will take at least the better part of a year to settle on a site for the new Redskins Park, we are five years or more away from the first seven-on-seven drills there.