With the news that the Redskins will be keeping their corporate headquarters in Ashburn, VA and will be moving their training camp to Richmond, VA starting next season, are the Redskins becoming more of a Virginia based team as opposed to a DC or Maryland team? The Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell and the Mayor of Richmond, VA Dwight Jones seem to think just that...
D.C. vs. Va. - A battle over the Redskins?
WASHINGTON - Mayor Vincent Gray has made no bones about wanting the Washington Redskins to be more closely attached to D.C.
And now a politician in Loudoun County is reacting.
County Supervisor Shawn Williams wrote a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder last week thanking him for continuing to keep the Redskins practice facility in Ashburn.
Williams also re-opened the possibility of building a Redskins hall of fame in Loudoun. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors had previously rejected a similar proposal because of concerns about the use of taxpayer money on the project.
Gray, speaking on WTOP's "Ask the Mayor" program in November, said "we have had discussions with people who are associated with the team."
He said they would like to have the Redskins' training facility in D.C.
At an event last week, Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell couldn't resist taking a jab about the Redskins practicing in Virginia, when he said to Gray, "I didn't wear my Virginia Redskins jacket."
McDonnell was remarking on Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley wearing a Baltimore Ravens jacket in support of that team's making the playoffs.
"Not only is [Redskins football] marvelous entertainment, not only do we live and die with that Sunday afternoon Redskins game, but we also understand what you bring to the Commonwealth of Virginia," McDonnell said, via Redskins.com. "We know you have a D.C. link, we know you play on Sundays in Maryland, but we know you spend most of your time in Ashburn, Virginia. We're very grateful and excited about that."
Speaking about Virginia’s successful effort to retain Redskins corporate headquarters, and the accompanying expansion of the team’s training facility, as well as the Redskins decision to further the team’s relationship with the Commonwealth by making plans to relocate its annual summer training camp in Richmond starting in 2013, Governor McDonnell noted, “Virginia considers the Redskins our team. The team is based here. 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. This is a positive and exciting development for football fans from Loudoun County to Richmond to Virginia Beach. It will mean more jobs in our state, and more revenue for state and local coffers. More than anything, it means Virginia will remain ‘Redskins Country.’ In the years ahead I look forward to visiting the new expanded training facility in Loudoun County, and watching the team practice right here in our state capital of Richmond.”
“We’ve actually been in contact with them for quite some time,” Dwight Jones said on Richmond’s ESPN 950. “And actually, the coach really wanted to expand the footprint of the team. They really want to be a Virginia team, and so they really kind of pushed this thing along, even to the point of not having an exact location. They’re signed on for eight years. They have some very specific requirements. We’re gonna meet ‘em. We’re gonna make it happen.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66vT6OGEjMY Virginia Governor Bob McDonell and Richmond, VA Mayor Dwight Jones press conference to announce Virginia deal with the Redskins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0YpY9uIXDM Richmond, VA is Redskins Country.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/ima...1344110880.jpg Virginia Redskins
Richmond Training Center Construction Begins
Leaders from the City of Richmond, Bon Secours Virginia Health System and the Washington Redskins broke ground on the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Thursday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKwnEZB1r-4 Virginia Day 1960 in Redskins Stadium
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8_AOZY18N4 Virginia Day 1961 in Redskins Stadium
Other planned destinations for the Redskins’ 80th Anniversary Bus Tour include:
- May 25: Shenandoah County, Va. (Strasburg High School, Central High School, Stonewall Jackson High School and the Shenandoah County Relay for Life);
- June 2: Virginia Beach, Va., and Williamsburg, Va.;
- June 7: Portsmouth, Va. (Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Reception);
- June 8: Norfolk, Va., and Chantilly, Va. (VHSL Group AAA Spring Jubilee);
- June 9: Richmond, Va.;
- June 16: Falls Church, Va. (State Elks Convention);
- June 21: Harrisonburg, Va. (State Eagles Convention);
- July 4: Washington, D.C.; and
- July 20: Roanoke, Va. (Subway Commonwealth Games)
So what's Plan B? Virginia couldn't complete a deal with Cooke in 1992 despite a news conference at Potomac Yards. Richmond lawmakers aren't keen on spending money for a stadium on its border with Washington as the team's name. However, the team's relocation of training camp to Richmond beginning this summer will soften opposition should it remain in the Virginia capital past the 2020 deal.
Potomac Yards is no longer viable, but sources said there are available sites if a deal is made in coming years.