Monday, October 01, 2007

What Will You Do Now Dan? - Part 1

I have an idea

In this two-part series Curly R examines the opportunities and challenges associated with moving the Redskins back into the District of Columbia, home of the Redskins from 1937 to 1996.

Part 1: Confluence of Factors
Part 2: Obstacles to Navigate
Epilogue: New RFK


The bye week is the perfect time for conspiracy and big ideas so I am going to lay one of each down on Redskinsland: Dan Snyder will move this team back to the District and they will play in a stadium that will be known as New RFK. How do I know this? Why do I believe this? There is a confluence of factors that are surely eating away at owner Dan right now and something has to give. To wit:

1. The Cowboys are now the most valuable franchise in the NFL and therefore American sports. The Redskins have occupied the top spot for all but one (the first, 2000) of owner Dan's nine years owning the team and now the Cowboys have leapfrogged. Dan fancies himself as a latter day Jerral W. Jones, a younger and less cosmetically enhanced version for a new generation. Although Jerral W. Jones and Dan are as close as colluders/rivals can be, Dan believes his birthright is the most valuable franchise in the country and on this point he and I are in agreement.

2. By Halloween next year FedEx Field will no longer be the largest stadium in the NFL. And to add injury to insult that newly largest stadium will belong to the hated Cowboys. This new facility will hold 100 thousand people or more when it is all said and done and about 350 million dollars were added to the value of the Cowboys franchise this year with the addition of that stadium which Jerral W. Jones owns outright. To rub owner Dan's nose in it even more the Cowboys are already set to host the Super Bowl 45 in 2011. Boy that must gall Dan.

3. FedEx Field is not Dan's baby. He inherited it. It was thrown up in 18 months by Jack Kent Cooke when he took his ball and went home in a squabble with non crack smoking DC mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. JKC wanted to put the stadium right where RFK is but he was a jerk and mayor Sharon didn't blink. Despite being currently the largest stadium in the league FedEx is reviled by Redskins fans for how tough it is to get in and out of and it surprises me how quickly it went from state of the art to old in terms of amenities and design. I guess given that it was patterned almost perfectly after Giants Stadium I should not be surprised, FedEx Field was born old. Its design is not conducive to keeping noise inside and a possibly brewing controversy over piping in stadium noise, something the team never had to do at RFK (and couldn't with the crappy PA system!), is not helping.

4. Prince George's County wants the land under FedEx Field. PG County is quite pleased with the mix of residential and commercial development that has sprung up around the area in the wake of the Capital Centre's demise and PG County officials believe the land would generate better tax revenue if it were used full time rather than part time as a venue. In the whisper deal rumored back in January of this year PG County offers owner Dan 300 million dollars for the FedEx Field stadium site, lock stock and barrel, takes down the stadium and sells the land to developers who in turn develop the land and sell it.* Everyone would make a buck and no more complaints about weekly upheaval and congestion in what is now a residential area.

5. The Nationals are gone. They resume play next season in their own shiny new stadium and the final roadblock to a totally vacant RFK is DC United soccer. They have a stadium problem of their own but it is not in the order of magnitude of a baseball or football stadium.

There's a 70 Chip sized hole right at RFK and Dan can run this team right through it.

Curly R continues its expose on New RFK with examination of challenges facing the Redskins in their makebelieve bid to return to the District of Columbia tomorrow with part two, Obstacles to Navigate.

RFK Stadium, with a Redskins game going on from here.