Posted August 28, 2014
Dan Steinberg - Washington Post -
The Washington Redskins’ lease at FedEx Field doesn’t expire for more than a decade, but owner Dan Snyder said that the team has already started meeting with architectural firms about designing the team’s new home. And Snyder said the next stadium will have a retro feel that calls to mind the District’s once-beloved RFK Stadium, welcome news for fans who have never warmed to the suburban and flavor-less FedEx Field.
In an interview with Comcast SportsNet — portions of which were published online on Wednesday evening — Snyder did not discuss geographic possibilities for Washington’s next football stadium. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027; that stadium, which opened in 1997, was already in place when Snyder purchased the team.
And while fans and national analysts have often criticized the Landover stadium for its lack of character, Snyder said the next home will have hints of RFK, the raucous home to the team during its three Super Bowl victories last century.
“You don’t just build a stadium and find a site and start breaking ground,” Snyder told CSN on Wednesday, in an interview scheduled to air on Sept. 1. “It does take time. We’ve already seen some preliminary drawings, and I’m going to be very retro with it. It’s going to feel like RFK. It’s going to move like RFK. I love that. I actually asked the architectural firm to do it, and they said they could do it, so I said I think that the local bowl sections are going to want to rock the stadium like the old days.”
Snyder mentioned the District, Maryland and Virginia as possibilities for a new home. District officials have often mentioned their desire to lure back the team in recent years.
“It’s no secret that I would love to have the football team back in the city,” D.C. Council Member Jack Evans said in February. “I would love to see a new stadium on the site where RFK currently exists.”
Snyder told Comcast SportsNet he’d like to see a new stadium in place “sooner than later,” but gave no further details.
“We love FedEx Field, it’s a great place to feature our home games, but it’s 17 years old now,” he said. “So I think it’s time for us to start looking, and we’re doing it.”
Snyder also said he would “love to” host a Super Bowl, and that the annual title game “ought to be here.” But while he called hosting that game “a no-brainer” for the region, he said the game would likely have to wait until a new stadium could be built.
Updated: In a statement from his press secretary, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) reaffirmed his county’s dedication to the Redskins.
“Prince George’s County is proud to be the game day home to the Washington Redskins and County Executive Baker wants to keep them playing in our County for the next generation of fans,” Press Secretary Scott Peterson said in the statement. “The Redskins have been great community partners and corporate citizens to Prince George’s County.”
Staff writer Arelis R. Hernández contributed to this report.