Once upon a time, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was reluctant to invite the Washington Redskins to open up a new football stadium in Washington, D.C. Last March, though, she changed her mind and asked the Twitter public, "Don't you want to bring our Washington football team back home?" It looks like the Obama Administration has taken it upon themselves to answer that question with more than just a simple no. "Given the timing, this is not likely to be a priority for this administration," said Department of Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw. According to Kershaw, President Barack Obama has also commented on the issue, saying, "He is uncomfortable with the name." The Washington Post reported that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell informed Bowser that, unless the Washington Redskins change their moniker, the National Park Service is unlikely to accommodate construction of a new football stadium on the site of the RFK Stadium.
With this loss in support, Bowser's inability to extend the District's lease on the RFK stadium may hinder her goal in convincing the Redskins to build their new stadium in the District. Other road blocks in her way include that it isn't clear if construction of new shops or hotels will be permitted near the RFK site due to the federal lease restrictions. Various officials in Washington, D.C. have also shown their uncertainty over a new stadium, including Council member Charles Allen who described the project as "a poor use of such an amazing space." Also backing down from the opportunity is neighborhood commissioner near RFK Denise Krepp, who said, "At this point, I don't think we'll be inclined to support it."
While the Redskins' lease on FedEx Field doesn't expire until 2027, executives have confirmed that they'll probably leave before then. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have begun pitching possible site locations to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, both showing support for the football team's moniker.
· Obama Administration rebuffs D.C.'s efforts to bring back the Redskins [The Washington Post]
· New Redskins Stadium: Maryland and Virginia Battle It Out [Curbed DC]
· A Redskins Stadium in D.C.? No Thanks, Says Everyone [Curbed DC]
· 21 Vintage Photos of RFK Stadium in The Good 'Ol Days [Curbed DC]