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Fenty on Redskins: 'We'll Get Them Back'

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said during an appearance on "Washington Post Live" Thursday evening on Comcast SportsNet that he wants to have the Washington Redskins back playing in D.C. "as fast as humanly possible."

Fenty (D) said it "was a big mistake" when the city allowed the team to leave for its stadium in Landover, now named FedEx Field, where it began playing in 1997. Fenty said discussions have begun with the Redskins but refused to attach a timetable to the franchise's potential move back to the city.

"We want to get that done," Fenty said. "But that is an expensive, longer-term project, but one we're working on. The Redskins should play in Washington, D.C. I think it would be great to have a brand-new stadium, one that could accommodate a Super Bowl. So stay tuned."

The mayor said the Redskins' successful start to this season does intensify interest in the project.

"I think it does," he said. "I mean, there are so many technical things involved. Our team, the city team, has really looked at what it would take to both bring the team back here, build a new stadium, et cetera. It's a complicated proposition. But if people were around D.C. when the Redskins won the Super Bowl and in the quote-unquote heyday of past years, there's nothing like it in Washington, D.C. There's nothing like the excitement and having a Super Bowl team, walking around after the Super Bowl. So we want all that to come back to the city. It was a big mistake letting them leave, but we'll get them back."

Two teams in the Redskins' division, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, are building new stadiums. The price tag for each project exceeds $1 billion. Fenty said the major obstacles to bringing the Redskins back to Washington will be the franchise's lease at FedEx Field and the desire of Maryland officials to keep the team in the state.

"The biggest issues to deal with on a stadium like that are one, the owners have a longterm lease out there and just like any other longterm lease you can't just break leases and it's expensive to get out of them and it would be expensive for us to buy them out of one," Fenty said. "The other thing is the state of Maryland is heavily involved in that. The state of Maryland would be in play, and we understand that. They're not going to want to let the team go.

"But as Jack Evans has pointed out on the city council, that land could probably be used for a lot of other valuable things. We have a stadium site sitting here ready, willing and able to go. A new stadium could go on there. We could probably donate almost all of the land to the stadium and, I think, build a brand-new stadium that could accommodate a Super Bowl that has all of the new trappings of new stadiums. So I think there's a win-win in it. We've got a lot of work to do before we put it together and have a proposal. We have started to talk with the Redskins officials, but I'd be lying and misleading if I said that it would happen, you know, right away or in the near term. But we just want it to happen as fast as humanly possible."

By Mark Maske  |  October 10, 2008; 8:54 AM ET  | Category:  Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please put the 12th man in the new stadium.

Posted by: Kathy | October 12, 2008 8:56 PM

This is amazing... I've been a Skins fan since I was a kid. They own Washington D.C. no doubt in my mind about that, but to initiate a dialoge about a new Reddskinds stadium when the current tennet (D.C. United) hasn't yet gotten the stadium they've been seeking to build is just nuts.

I want the Redskins to return to the district, but I also want a satisfactory school system. Where are Fenty's priotities? This guy is an idiot. He had a good deal IN PLACE when he entered office that would have let United PAY FOR and build a stadium in anacostia. No matter what ignoant people say this WOULD have spurred econnomic growth across the river. If you want proof just take a look at PG counties evaluation of such a proposal. So what did Fenty do? He crashed the deal so now people don't have jobs, United doesn't have a stadium and the Redskins can't build a stadium because of all of this. I-D-I-O-T.

Posted by: Chris | October 12, 2008 12:00 PM

DC United should play in DC. Don't lose them to Maryland! The team is active in the community and draws 20K/game. Sure they aren't the Skins, but they're a solid organization with dedicated fans and several championships that cares about the city. They have earned better treatment than this, especially after MLB comes in with hardball tactics and the city just gives away the farm.

Posted by: FC | October 11, 2008 4:50 PM

If anyone thinks for one minute, that Snyder is going to walk away, from fed-X, to build in DC, well your NUTS.

Snyder owns Fed-X, Cooke never owned RFK, he leased it from the DC armory.

The problem Snyder would have, that Mr.Cooke didn't have when he built Jack Kent Cooke Stadium is what to do with a perfectly good empty stadium, with a mortgage note attached to it.

Do you think Snyder, would see the value in driving around a unused stadium, that hes responsible for ?

If Snyder should entertain anything, its hiring an engineering firm, and look at the feasibility of installing a retractable roof system, while keeping the playing field natural turf.

Posted by: Dashriprock | October 11, 2008 10:38 AM

Snyder can sell to some pastor and it can become the largest mega church in the US.
You know the type of pastor the one with the really big egos who drives a new S class every year, has enough $3k suits that he doesnt wear the same one for 2 weeks, the one who wears $500 a pair shoes and a gold Rolex, and the one who has all the hot honeys working on his office staff.
You know the type whose congregation could use some job training and low cost daycare but the Rev is too interested in getting his ego stroked and insists they tith to the max to support his lifestyle.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 11, 2008 10:22 AM

For all the people in d.c. please don't be offended when I say this, Marylanders and Virginians DO NOT want to come into the city for redskins games. The city street system is very poorly planned for handling the number of vehicles attending a game and the public projects that would need to be taken on would probably cost well into the hundreds of millions, new metro, new roads, more police, typically the local gov. pays for the parking facilities so they can be used in non game hours.

D.C. has barely been staying afloat for years now and bringing in a sports team is not going to change that but it will cost taxpayers a lot of cash.

Most importantly for fans, as of 2007 the population of d.c. is around 600,000, the population of the "dc metro area" is 5.3 million, so by having the stadium right on the beltway (like it is now) helps the vast majority of fans go to and from games easily and quickly. I shutter to think how many people who have been drinking would be driving around the city streets.

Point is stop the war cry for a dc stadium, dc is nice for museums and restaurants but bad for big events. And if they are going to stick it between the the ghetto and the wastewater plant like they did with the nats stadium, no thanks!!! I am not a fan of smelling crap while being stabbed.

Posted by: allskins | October 11, 2008 9:57 AM

Is Fenty out of his mind? First, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium is only abut 10 years old, and it's generating oodles of profit for the team. It's almost paid for, and took little in public funds to be built. Even if the team wanted to move, is Fenty prepared to provide a billion dollars or so in public funds? Snyder wouldn't be coming back to make the city feel good, but to improve the team's P&L.

And as another poster noted, Snyder would absolutely positively sell PSLs. If he could figure out a way to do it now, he would. He's finally learning how to be a good owner from the football side, but he's never lacked the skills to make money. He sees the fans as debtors, not customers.

Posted by: Music Lover | October 11, 2008 8:25 AM

This is really not news. I remember talking almost two years ago with the Mayor about the football team returning to DC. So...sure if Dan Snyder wants to move back...let us welcome him. However, he can build his own stadium. No need for the citizens to underwrite his efforts. He has more than enough money. That said, the city must offer at least infrastructure support...upgrade of utilities (water, electricity etc), METRO expansion, etc.

Posted by: DC John | October 11, 2008 7:49 AM

BRING SKINS BACK TO DC, BUT FIRST…

October 29, 1877, is the day former slave trader, Confederate general, and first leader of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest died.

On that day every year the Government of the District of Columbia ought to drape a white pointed hood upon the head of the statue of George Preston Marshall, founder of the Washington Redskins NFL franchise, that stands on DC property outside RFK stadium.

Marshall’s role in preventing black players from entering the NFL at all, and in being the last team to employ a black player, is well documented in a number of sources, including Marshall’s NFL Hall of Fame admission bio at Canton OH.

Accordingly there can be no doubt of the historic accuracy of linking Marshall with the Klan in spirit, whether he officially ever belonged or not. After all, the Klan was not famous either for keeping, or for being able to write down, records.

Redskins team officials and NFL representatives need not attend the ceremonies. But equally they should not prevent them from occurring.

After the hooding of the statue, a high school band should play. Cheerleaders should cheer. There should be speeches by the DC Mayor and Councilmembers. And homegoing commuters will drive past it thoughtfully that evening.

It’s a public statue on public land. Let’s use it for a public observation of an historic connection.

This should become an annual tradition lasting 360 years, as long as slavery and Jim Crow did (1607 founding of Jamestown – 1967 Civil Rights Act.) Or until the NFL dies, whichever comes first.

Posted by: natty bumppo | October 11, 2008 2:22 AM

I think everyone has forgotten that Jack Kent Cooke was under a lot of pressure from native americans to change the name Redskins and the city would not allow him to build anywhere in DC unless he did. He then tried to build in Virginia, but everywhere he wanted to build they opposed him, and that is how he ended up building in Maryland. Is DC going to back down from this name change idea? There is no way Dan Snyder would allow that.
GO REDSKINS !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: James | October 11, 2008 1:02 AM

I really dont what skins do...I am sick of these sports teams balckmailing local communities. Do I care if a bunch of millionaires players win or lose?

Posted by: Kevin1231 | October 11, 2008 12:50 AM

I stopped going to the games when they stopped calling the place Raljohn.

Posted by: nativedc | October 10, 2008 11:37 PM

simply put the WASHINGTON REDSKINS belong in WASHINGTON, not Landover

Posted by: Jay | October 10, 2008 10:58 PM

Go Eagles!

Posted by: cosmopolitician | October 10, 2008 10:55 PM

Fenty promised DC United a stadium right before his election (cue The Ultimate Warrior in 3...2...1...). We're still waiting.

The minute DC United has a stadium in MD or VA will be the day I stop spending any money in the District. I hope the Redskins stay in Landover. Fenty can live with the failures of the schools, the hospitals, the various welfare departments and the fact that the Nationals aren't paying rent or holding Nationals-branded team events in the District. Even the official Nationals sports bar is at National Harbor.

Redskins Park is in Ashburn. Maybe the VA suburbs can build Danny a golden-roofed palace for his Super Bowl.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | October 10, 2008 9:59 PM

What's the mayor talking about with this lease problem? Dan in one form or another owns that stadium. Maryland won't put up much of a fight once they see a study showing ways that land could generate more tax revenue then in its present form. At the end of the day thats all they care about.

DC won't have to put up any money for the stadium. Maybe some for roads and the like, but the Redskins can pay for the stadium with a retractable dome and real grass.

My concern as a season ticket holder is that they will introduce PSL (Personal Seat Licenses) where we'd have to put down thousands of dollars up front for the right to purchase seats every year.

So I say bring them back to DC but please spare us the PSLs.


Posted by: Phil | October 10, 2008 7:25 PM

A bunch of grown men chasing a piece of pigskin around a field is far more important than educating our next generation. As the rest of the city crumbles, we can all gather around a ritualistic pile of colliding flesh. Does Adrian play the fiddle?

If it were not for football over half the colleges in this country would be out of business. Football brings in money which keeps the schools open and up to date so book worms like you have nice little libraries to go to. Shut your pie hole and go read a book. DORK.

Posted by: askgees | October 10, 2008 4:36 PM

Is Fenty up for re-election? He's obviously jumping on the Redskins bandwagon while they're hot. Just another politician saying something to get what they want while not really meaning it or intending to follow through on it.

Posted by: Charlie | October 10, 2008 4:34 PM

Yeah, I'm biased. I own in Lincoln Park. I'd love to see the re-development of RFK into a use-able space. A move like this could pave the path for a "successful" Olympic bid...assuming the rest of the world gets over this whole mortgage backed derivatives thing we got going on right now. 2016...they won't even remember. And we can put "RalJohn" (for those who remember the original deal) Maryland in the past.

Posted by: LincolnPark Owner | October 10, 2008 4:21 PM

The only way we'll get the Superbowl (played in February) in DC is to have a domed stadium. And that usually means artificial turf.

I can't believe any true 'Skins fan would want them playing in a domed stadium on plastic grass.

I'm a season ticket holder and 15 minutes from the stadium now.

But I'd give that up to be able to take the Metro to the stadium and not have to deal with, and pay for, parking.

We're talking 2020 which would be near the end of FedEx field anyway.

Most stadiums become obsolete around 30 years, but in many ways FedEx became obsolete when the new Ravens stadium was built (which seems nicer by half).

I'm all for the 'Skins being anywhere in DC (or Maryland), but I ask two things:

Don't put them in Northern Virginia and don't build a dome.

Hogs should play on real grass.

Posted by: Vinny | October 10, 2008 4:19 PM

To PG Countyier:

What about the $6.3 million (+/-)that PG County has taxes the ticket holders?

Posted by: AWWNats | October 10, 2008 4:14 PM

RFK is a dead elephant - what can DC do with it? Nuttin. Bring the Skins back to DC where they belong!

Posted by: skins fan | October 10, 2008 3:54 PM

The stadium is GOING to happen for one reason and one reason only.

Snyder's pride.

Its no secret that he wants a super bowl and FedEx Field can't get it for him. But its not just the super bowl...its the Cowboys. Who ousted the Skins as the most valuable team in the league? The Cowboys. Why...because of the value of their new stadium. Which by the way will host the super bowl in 2012 and...bested Fedex Field as the largest stadium in the league by breaking 100,000 capacity.

Quite simply, Synder (much like true Skins fans) can't stand to be bested by the Cowboys. Add a willing mayor and a county (PG) that in actuality isn't that opposed to redeveloping FedEx and the area around it, and you have the Skins back home by 2020.

Watch.

Posted by: Skins Country | October 10, 2008 3:24 PM

Would be nice to see the 'Skins away from playing in the BIG UGLY.

Posted by: Skinsfan2.5 | October 10, 2008 3:19 PM

Are You serious? Why would snyder give up all his income he gets from parking alone to move to DC where he would recieve 75% less revenue from parking because there is NO PLACE TO PARK!!! Do you realize how much money he makes off of that? Moving back to DC makes no sense from a business perspective and lets face it, Synder is a business man first above everything else.

Posted by: Tim | October 10, 2008 3:18 PM

OK MD counter with covering the cost of extending Largo station to FedEx; adding a purple line station as well. Oh yeah retro fit with a dome or cover and we will start to forgive what you gave the browns and angelos in Balmer.

Posted by: mdskinsfan | October 10, 2008 3:00 PM

Clearly as a fan of the skins I would like them back in the district.

As a resident of DC i also would like them back in the district.

They would not have the same issues building a Redskins stadium as they did with the Nats for many reasons. The first being that we (the dc metro area) already has the team. So we can't be held ransom to either comply with the desires of the league or else we dont get the team. Secondly, the space for RFK is available to be redevolped unlike the SE waterfront which had been used for other purposes. In a few years once the DC united have relocated to a smaller soccer specific stadium there will be no use for RFK minus the occassional large concert event.
It would seem that the district could easily loan the land to Snyder and the skins to build a new stadium with their own funds and give tax breaks in order to chip in. Without having to foot the bill themselves.
And the best part is the skins have the money to do it. The reason they are the second most valuable franchise in the NFL isn't for any reason besides they own FEDEX Field. Jack Kent Cooke was brilliant in making the decision to finance a stadium personally. Because a piece of property like a stadium is going to hold its worth.
The other difference that the RFK site would offer that FEDEX and the NATS ballpark cant is that is already has a fairly well developed infastructure to it and with the ongoing developement of the Pennsylvania Ave and H St corridor it would bridge the gap between The Capitol and RFK as a destination place even outside of game day events. Also consider that a street car would be running from Union Station to Minnesota Ave metro (which would run directly by RFK on the north side of the stadium) there would be even more mass transit available.
So, go Fenty and go Snyder. Bring the Skins home and help to redevelope an area of the city.

Posted by: matlaw | October 10, 2008 2:56 PM

Wasn't Fenty against the Nats stadium, until he realized that it would be built anyway, now he acts like the biggest fan in the city. A publicy financed football stadium would bring people into the city maybe 12 times a year (8 regular games, 2 exhbitions, 2 play-offs). The Nats have 81 home games. He's an idiot.

Posted by: the troof | October 10, 2008 2:53 PM

A bunch of grown men chasing a piece of pigskin around a field is far more important than educating our next generation. As the rest of the city crumbles, we can all gather around a ritualistic pile of colliding flesh. Does Adrian play the fiddle?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 2:45 PM

DC United has dibs on Poplar Point. If it wasn't for United, the district wouldn't have control over that land. Fenty is a back-stabbing liar, and my guess is that neither the Redskins nor DC United will see stadium talks progress under his leadership. Then again, it might be better for DC taxpayers if all stadium plans were dropped altogether.

Posted by: John | October 10, 2008 2:41 PM

I always say we can't have too many new stadiums, even if the schools and all other public spending suffers. I'm sure we can get Wall St to finance everthing.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 2:32 PM


As a lifelong area resident and current DC Resident, I beg of Fenty to please - focus on crime, focus on schools, focus on potholes, focus on the rudest and most incompetent people in the world (i.e., DMV and other city employees), focus on making sure that my tax dollars aren't buying Gucci purses - Please don't focus on getting the 'Skins back to DC.

I love the Skins as much as the next person, maybe even more. But the residents of this fine city would like to turn it back into a fine city. PLEASE!

Posted by: SkinsFan and DC Resident | October 10, 2008 2:31 PM

And we DC United fans know that Fenty's political will is worth only slightly less than a share of Lehman right now. Don't hold your breath...

Posted by: JB | October 10, 2008 2:28 PM

And who is going to pay for this stadium??????

DC taxpayers should not be footing the bill for the new baseball stadium and DC can no longer afford to build more stadiums or hospitals. This is insane. If a private developer wants to build a stadium with private monies including the cost of transportation and other infrastructure improvements, then fine, DC gov't should pave the way. Otherwise leave the team in Prince Georges County.

Posted by: DC resident | October 10, 2008 1:11 PM

As someone who lives in the vicinty of FedEx field, I can't wait to see the Redskins move back to DC. It's been a terrible deal for us as we've never received any tax breaks promised as compensation for the inconvenience of having thousands of people flooding into our neighborhoods and clogging our streets on game days. I am saddened by DC's frivolous spending of building and rebuilding stadiums and convention centers every couple of years, but the thought of not having to plan my day around when the game starts and lets out allows me to quickly get over that.

Posted by: PG Countyier | October 10, 2008 12:54 PM

No way- keep the skins where they are!!!

Ridiculous!

Posted by: DCMOM | October 10, 2008 12:43 PM

This makes sense ONLY if it's part of a larger plan to redevelop the rest of the vacant land around the current RFK stadium.

I'd suggest even incorporating the surrounding development right into the stadium. Make street-level retail in the first floor. Incorporate several floors of high-end housing on top of the stadium. There are a lot of really rich people that would pay a fortune to live actually in the stadium, in condos sitting five to 12 stories high (up to the legal height restriction in DC). And the views would be stunning, in all directions.

This could be a new model for urban sustainability. Sure, everyone else has new stadiums. But we would be the only one with an entire mini-city incorporated into the stadium.

Posted by: Hillman | October 10, 2008 12:34 PM

The Redskins paid for their stadium. Jack Kent Cooke had the decency not to stick the taxpayers with the tab. There is no way Snyder would leave FedEx Field unless D.C. paid for a new downtown stadium and he was able to find a buyer for FedEx which is highly unlikely. No one would buy a stadium the size of FedEx unless they have a professional football for baseball team lined up.

Posted by: badabingo | October 10, 2008 12:33 PM

lease?

don't the redskins own FedEx field? Or at least some sort of shell game where at the end of the day they are all owned by Snyder and Co?

how can they even think of moving until the mortgage on it is paid off?

Posted by: spotter | October 10, 2008 11:42 AM

"I'd love for Snyder to just say "forget it." The DC "leadership" acted like the Keystone Kops for years when it came to building a new stadium there, and now they want the team back?"

Yeah, but remember, that was the Marion Barry/Sharon Pratt Kelly era of DC mayor-ship. They weren't about to placate Jack Kent Cooke, and their reasons were selfish and backward. If Fenty had been the mayor in the early-to-mid 1990's, it would have been built in DC, no question. I'm quite certain that Snyder would prefer to have the Skins play in DC.

Posted by: Evan R. | October 10, 2008 11:39 AM

Just make sure the stadium has bouncing seats. Please!

Posted by: Stefan | October 10, 2008 11:20 AM

Landover is terrible. Maryland is terrible. Move the Skins back to DC. It's ridiculous that Ravens fans are closer to our home field than we are.

Posted by: Jonas | October 10, 2008 11:17 AM

congrats DC residents, your taxes will jump %100 percent if you get the skins back. that will be just perfect for MD and VA residents that come in to see the game and leave you with the bill. thanks!

Posted by: love me some taxation | October 10, 2008 11:16 AM

As much I would love to see the SKins back in DC, it's not up to folks like myself to decide. The only people that matter in this quest is DC residents, season ticket holders, and the people that live in the FedEx Field vicinity that would get affected by any move. The rest of us can only sit back and hope.

Posted by: Miguel | October 10, 2008 11:06 AM

New stadium should be called "Night Owl" Field

Posted by: NOUPs | October 10, 2008 10:56 AM

I'd love for Snyder to just say "forget it." The DC "leadership" acted like the Keystone Kops for years when it came to building a new stadium there, and now they want the team back?

Posted by: Fred | October 10, 2008 10:54 AM

Metro access AT the stadium is a must. Part of the renewed success of the Buffalo Sabres is that HSBC Arena sits at the downtown terminus of the subway, allowing for easy transport of the 19,000 into the arena without fighting for the *very* limited parking around the downtown area.

If 19,000 is hard to park in Buffalo; imagine trying to do that without the subway for a 100,000 in D.C.!

Posted by: AppleScience | October 10, 2008 10:53 AM

I am a big perponant of building a stadium in the district. But I have the following things I would like to see.
1. build a stadium that DC can take pride in like the roman coliseaum was. Make it look monumental, they messed that chance with Nat's Park. Think Columbs and statues through out.
2. No permanent dome, football needs weather, but if we could get some kind of retractable roof or (and stealing this from the romans) a cloth roof that can be retracted.
3. Must hold 5,000 more than cowboys stadium.
4. Metro enterance tunnels into the stadium.
5. No corporate sponsor name outside. Call it New RFK Memorial Stadium or something.

Posted by: Alex35332 | October 10, 2008 10:47 AM

Please, Please, Please make a new stadium at the current RFK site!! Or maybe that could be the Poplar Point stadium?!?! Anywhere with Metro access closer than a 1 mile walk at the end of a line!

Posted by: Ryan | October 10, 2008 9:08 AM

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