The Redskins are leaving Ashburn, Virginia. But they’re staying there, too.
Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the team will move its training camp, held every year from late July to mid August, to Richmond, Virginia starting in 2013. The site for the training camp in the Richmond area will be determined at a later date.
But the Redskins’ team facility will remain in Ashburn. In the same announcement, McDonnell said that the team “will retain its corporate headquarter in the Commonwealth and will continue its investment to expand and improve the training facility in Loudoun County.”
There have been reports that Maryland and the District of Columbia were taking steps to lure the Redskins into their jurisdictions.
“Virginia considers the Redskins our team. The team is based here,” McDonnell said. “The team trains here. The players live here. Virginians root for the Redskins on the field, and off the field the team contributes greatly to the economy and culture of the Commonwealth.”
“Virginia is committed to keeping the Redskins right here in our state for years to come, and today we’ve taken a significant step towards accomplishing that goal.”
McDonnell has approved an initial $4 million “performance-based grant to support the retention and expansion” of Redskins Park. McDonnell said that the expansion and renovation of the facility would cost about $30 million.
The exact site of where the Redskins will practice in the summer of 2013 remains up in the air. According to the press release the City of Richmond “is considering a number of locations for Redskins summer practice” and that announcements would be made over the coming weeks.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones said that the city is "looking at every possible place" for a potential practice site and that a task force will be put together to explore the options.
Local speculation centers on City Stadium, which was the home of the University of Richmond Spiders until they opened an on-campus stadium in 2010. The stadium was built in 1929. It is likely that substantial renovations would have to be done in order for the Redskins to practice there, including the addition of another field.
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen played in City Stadium as a punter for the Spiders in the 1970’s. His late father was the coach of the Redskins from 1971-1977 and he started the relationship with Virginia when he had the original Redskins Park build in Herndon, Virginia in 1971.
“During the last two years the Washington Redskins have made significant improvements to modernize FedExField and Redskins Park, ensuring a best-in-class game day experience for our fans and an excellent training environment for our players,” said Allen. “We are very pleased to continue our relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia that my father established 41 years ago.”