Housing Complex

Jack Evans’ Latest Idea to Bring the Redskins Back Probably Won’t Work Either

Dan Snyder, still not coming back.

It's not news that Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans desperately wants the Redskins back from Landover, Maryland. In 2010, he proposed tearing down RFK Stadium and building a 110,000-seat replacement. Last year, he and the Mayor went to Tampa to check out a training facility, which could be built near RFK if the whole stadium was too big to handle.

But Evans hasn't let go of his dream of having the Skins play in D.C. again. In fact, he sees it as an inevitability. "It's not a matter of 'if' they come back, it's a matter of 'when,'" he told a gathering of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association last night, saying the conversations with the team were "ongoing."

Evans knows that having the city finance a new stadium would be unpalatable, after the battle to build a ballpark for the Nationals, and slower-than-expected real estate response around it. Still, he said, the Redskins are much more loved than the District's baseball team. "Everyone loves the Redskins," he said. "There is a sense across the city that they should be playing in the city."

But there's hope! Evans said. The National Football League has a fund for helping teams build new stadia, with loans that are paid off through revenue sharing on the team's club seats. The fund dried up in 2007, but was recently replenished under a new collective bargaining agreement, with loans capped at $200 million and contingent on how much the team's owner is willing to contribute (before, money went to larger markets, like New Jersey's Meadowlands stadium). Just last week, the league announced its first loan under the new regime: $200 million to the San Francisco 49ers. So that's what Evans is banking on to bring the Skins back to D.C.

Unfortunately—or not, if you think there are better uses for large tracts of D.C.'s land than football stadia—it's probably not in the cards. "They've got a stadium in the market that people view as a perfectly adequate stadium," says Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economics professor who studies professional sports. "It's not gonna happen."

Ah well. Barring some other multi-million-dollar cash infusion, looks like those of us who care about football will have to keep trekking out to FedEx.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • http://alexblock.net Alex B.

    The Redskins might be much more loved than the Nats, but even the lukewarm love for the Nats netted a total season attendance of 1.9 million last year.

    Even at the 110,000 figure Evans proposed previously (which is not a good idea - the Skins just downsized FedEx to boost demand for higher priced tickets) that's only going to be filled (assuming it does get filled) for 8 games a year - or, 0.88 million total attendance.

    The NFL is definitely the most popular sports league in this country, but that's manifested in TV ratings.

  • http://kjnisamutt.blogspot.com kjnisamutt

    Who's this "everybody", Mr. Evans? Whoever they are, I know I'm not one of them.

  • Pooty

    yeah! bring em back where they belong. thank you, jack!

  • Logan

    As a resident of Rosedale, and as someone who walks his dogs by the vast sea of surface level parking that surrounds RFK, I and my neighbors would adamantly fight any attempt by Evans to build a new football stadium on that land. We don't want to live next to parking lots that are used 8 times a year. This water-front property should be transformed into something useful for the entire community, be it museums, mix-use residential and commercial buildings...literally anything other than a useless, rarely-used megastadium that will just line the pockets of the most reviled man in DC--Dan Snyder.

  • Will

    @Logan, I concur, the economics just aren't there, and it's a huge waste of resources to put it anywhere near the RFK site.

    I'm not advocating for a stadium at all, but, in the wildly unlikely scenario that it happens, other sites in need of economic development should be considered, ideally a spot with adequate freeway and metro access (RFK has terrible freeway access, thus ruining quality of life for local residents on game days).

    I humbly submit that if Mayor Gray & Marion Barry are so keen on a stadium, Poplar Point or the PEPCO plant at Benning Rd. are both right off major freeways, and have metro lines running under or through them.

    The powerplant could even be an adaptive reuse project, keeping a wall or two like Camden Yards, and creating a temporary "game-day" metro stop along the Orange/Blue line

    It's still a bad idea, but RFK is not a suitable site for a gigantic stadium.

  • SEis4ME

    @Will, I humbly submit that if Mayor Gray & Marion Barry are so keen on a stadium, Poplar Point or the PEPCO plant at Benning Rd.

    The article is about Jack Evan's interest in bringing the skins back. Yet, your response talks about what Gray and Barry wants? I take it you didn't read the article?

  • Wrack

    Evans is just doing the pandering thing. We don't get squat if the Redskins move into DC... except some ridiculous traffic jams. And there is NO way that this would happen without some kind of public expenditures or tax breaks.

    Evans just wants some more sports seats for himself, plus the approval rating boost from talking about sports. ("Sports? I love sports! He's got my vote!")

  • cminus

    Evans will be on this hobbyhorse for as long as he's allowed to buy himself Redskins season tickets out of his constituent services fund.

  • Ant

    DC would have to build a stadium on the level of the one in Dallas to get the Redskins back in DC. In this recession its not going to happen anytime soon its nothing more then a pipedream.

  • Ellen

    "Evans knows that having the city finance a new stadium would be unpalatable, after the battle to build a ballpark for the Nationals, and slower-than-expected real estate response around it."

    Slower than expected by whom? When the Nat's ballpark was announced, the SE Waterfront south of the freeway was a wasteland of trash transfer stations, an asphalt plant, strip clubs and concrete and sand/gravel operations, with something like 1300 trucks per day traveling through it. Even with the meltdown of the capital markets and a nationwide recession, that area now has more than 3000 new residents, several new office buildings, a new park and exciting new retail leased and under construction.

    I'm NOT supporting a new football stadium -- for 8 games a year that would be a colossal waste of money, but Lydia, you of all people understand that development goes in cycles. You put the right land use/zoning framework in place, you make a few catalytic investments (the ballpark, Yards Park, Canal Blocks park) and then at the right point in the development cycle, it all comes together. It took more than 10 years from the time the zoning was put in place for Downtown and the MCI center investment was made, but the Downtown area has been transformed. That kind of time frame is a more reasonable expectation for people to have about how long it takes to revitalize an area, and Downtown already had department stores, museums, hotels, a convention center and thousands of office workers to start with, advantages that the Capitol Riverfront did not have.
    There are already enough people who never liked the idea of a ballpark blaming it for not creating instant results; please don't add fuel to that fire.

  • leeshato

    I supprt a stadium if the city does not have to pay for it.If Dan Synder want to build a stadium and that is very unlikely. I love the skins as well as any other Washingtonian. There are better uses for tax payers monies.

  • kpjarboe

    I'm glad to hear that Evans is so gung ho on building Synder a new stadium -- I presume on the Georgetown Waterfront since it ought to be somewhere in his Ward.

  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    Jack will perform anything on behalf of his ethnic and the Jewish community. Remember, he loves his Georgetown, Dupont and Logan circle caucasian and Jewish constituents, which is why he found it timeless for the Shaw residents to go to Ward 6.

    Finally, a lot of Black AMericans have had enough of this wealthy in the pocket of developers and Patton and Boggs easy sitting elected Official, who should be ousted from his seat for many ethical violations.

    Gee, it's nice to know that Mayor Gray and Kwame truly think a lot of person, who thinks very little of them. Not to exclude, Michael Brown.

    Thia type of ass kissing is so embracing with a KKK.

  • Lydia DePillis
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