The ongoing prospect of the Redskins building a team headquarters and training facility in Southeast D.C. drew the attention of Mike DeBonis and Jonathan O'Connell in this morning's Washington Post. And boy howdy, does this story have everything.
There's a site picked out just south of, ahem, venerable RFK Stadium (mind the raccoons!). There are accounts of high-level discussions with Redskins personnel, including General Manager Bruce Allen. There's even Redskins PR man Tony Wyllie issuing the standard "We are exploring all of our options" statement. We're beginning to think Wyllie should start wearing a sandwich board with that phrase just to save his voice the strain.
But, wait!. There's also opposition, and a conflicting master development plan that's been gathering dust since 2002. Plus, of course, there's this.
Significant obstacles remain if the District were to proceed with development on the site.
Buildings would need to be demolished and underground fuel tanks removed. Operations on the site — among them a homeless shelter, a methadone clinic and a morgue — would have to be transferred elsewhere at great financial and, potentially, political cost.
And the District is just one of the local jurisdictions competing for a piece of the burgundy and gold. Surrounding counties enjoy some advantages — including less-costly land that presents fewer infrastructural and political complications.
Look, it would be nice for the Redskins to return to D.C. It would be more convenient for everyone, including players, coaches, and media, most of whom live a lot closer to the District (or even to Prince George's County, another potential suitor) than to Ashburn. But we just don't see it happening. As the article states, there are simply too many obstacles in the District and better-positioned competitors elsewhere. If Mayor Gray (or whoever comes after him) has the clout to get this thing done, well done to him. But we won't believe it until we see Gray and Daniel Snyder shaking hands.