The latest harebrained scheme from the D.C. Council is a doozy.
Late Thursday, Tom Sherwood, venerable City Hall beat man for WRC-TV (the NBC owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C.) reported that certain D.C. officials would support the FBI vacating its hideous Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters and decamping to Prince George's County, Maryland. Under this plan, Sherwood continued, Prince George's County, the gameday home of the Redskins, would allow the team to move back into the District, into presumably a brand-new stadium on the site of present-day RFK.
Sherwood (who, we hasten to add, is technically a colleague of ours due to our part-time employment at NBC Washington) was able to get rabid 'Skins fan, Ward 2 Councilmember, and Chairman of the Council's Finance and Revenue Committee Jack Evans on record about such a proposal. Here is what Evans said.
Certainly the idea of a switch for the FBI moving to Prince George's County and the Redskins moving back to the city in a brand new stadium at RFK would be something I would certainly be interested in.
Several problems with this, however:
1. Prince George's County has no interest in seeing the Redskins leave.
In a written response to News4, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker rebuffed the idea:
The Baker administration is not entertaining any discussions around moving the Washington Redskins back to Washington, D.C.
2. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray seems to have shot the idea down, as the Post's Mike DeBonis reported.
3. Local residents don't seem to like the idea, if their reaction to a proposed Redskins training facility earlier this year is any guide.
4. The federal government would have to get involved at some point, which opens this whole idea up to a whole new round of court challenges and turgid planning compromises.
5. Not to go all Robert Lipstye/Sportsworld on everyone, but is the District really worse for the Redskins not playing their games in town? We live in Virginia ourselves, but the District seems to be doing just fine without everyone flocking to East Capitol Street eight Sundays a year.
At the core of this remains the question of what to do with RFK Stadium, especially now that D.C. United is desperate to get out of there. Two college football games a year (Morehouse/Howard every September, plus the Military Bowl in December), hardly seems like an adequate excuse to keep the roller coaster roof and the World's Most Famous Swaying Press Box around.
In the meantime, here's Sherwood's full report. Dream away.