Even more on the Washington Redskins process for a new stadium
I've written about this quite a bit ("Design for a future Washington Redskins football stadium" and "Football relocation fever and the Redskins bandwagon").
For a variety of reasons, it is disadvantageous for DC, a city with limited land resources to devote one of its few, city-controlled, large redevelopment sites to a facility that is minimally used and receives significant tax breaks.
The new trend in stadium development is to better plan for and simultaneously capture ancillary land development opportunities, such as with the plans for a Rams football stadium in Inglewood, California. Although the primary benefits of such facilities are reaped by the sports team, not other entities.
In DC, with limited land, the kind of "ancillary" land development is what's done in the city anyway, and doesn't need to be associated with a sports team in order to go forward. The city is engaged in a planning process for the RFK Stadium area ("What's next for RFK?," WTOP), but sadly, it isn't a very objective process.
The Redskins have been priming the pump by hiring a major internationally-renowned architecture firm to design a new stadium
The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a very nice piece today, "Everything you need to know about the new Redskins stadium," about the various elements of a stadium relocation, financing, and construction process. The current stadium is located in Maryland, but 2/3 of the team's season ticket holders live in Virginia, and the stadium isn't particularly convenient to Metrorail.
Because DC's bonding capacity is near being tapped out, the ability to provide much in the way of public financing is limited, excepting major financial engineering moves and a change in the cap limit--although were a change to be made, doing so to finance a football stadium should be off the table.
And if a new stadium goes to Virginia, even if it is awarded a SuperBowl, the city of Washington can benefit disproportionately from the more profitable events leading up to the game, just as New York City benefited over New Jersey, San Francisco over Santa Clara, and Phoenix over Glendale have recently, when Super Bowl games were held in those metropolitan areas--because people want to be in the city, not at very distantly located stadium.
According to the RTD:
According to one source, the Redskins have retained D.C. mega-lobbying firm McGuire Woods to drum up support among lawmakers and tend to the details. It’s likely that a preliminary bill will be proposed as soon as next January in Virginia, creating a stadium authority to negotiate on the state’s behalf (the group would not be authorized to execute an agreement, only to negotiate one).So in part, the article is likely part of a campaign to build support for the State of Virginia funding in part a new stadium, which complements the fact that the Redskins team is based in Ashburn, Virginia already, and recently moved its summer practice facility to Richmond. Landing the stadium would be a trifecta.
The Redskins came close to moving to Virginia once before. In the lead-up to their last stadium project, then-Governor L. Douglas Wilder struck a deal with Cooke to build the stadium at Potomac Yard in Alexandria. However, the deal was vehemently opposed by taxpayers, and ultimately came unraveled, leading to the selection of the FedEx Field site.
Both sides are conscious of the fallout from those negotiations. The Redskins want to avoid getting stuck in a protracted legal or negotiating battle, part of the reason to plan so far in advance.