By Nathan Easington, Howard University News Service
While most citizens would love the concept of their hometown NFL team returning to a stadium actually within the cities limits, many D.C. residents led by Ward 6 council-member Charles Allen, have expressed opposition to the idea for many reasons.
“I am against a deal that gives away a single square foot of land or a single District tax dollar to build a new stadium for billionaire NFL owner Dan Snyder,” said Allen in his petition addressing the issue in December.
The most clear issue that Allen and the 2,500 other citizens that have also signed his petition have stated is that it would be unfair to bring the Redskins team back onto D.C. land just for the benefit of the team’s owner.
Allen suggesting that the team ownership instead be bought by the people of D.C. similar to how the Green Bay Packers team and stadium is owned by the residents of Green Bay. This would lessen the hurt of the much needed renovations that D.C. tax dollars would partially pay for.
“I’m not that into spots, but having D.C.’s football team actually play in D.C. would be great and it would make taking my daughter to games much easier,” said Crystal Jenkins who as lived and worked in the Ward 6 neighborhood for the past decade.
Currently the team plays in Landover, Maryland, but bringing the team back to the RFK stadium would require major updates as the Redskins haven’t used the stadium since 1996.
“It is sometimes used for concerts and and different sporting events, but it would need some work to host a game every other weekend, but the jobs would be great it would be cool to see the redskins back,” said Ricky Galvin, a construction worker who is currently working on apartment renovations in Ward 6.
If the team was to return to the stadium, Ward 6 would see most of the action that the relocation would potentially bring, as the stadium is located on the Southeast edge of the Ward. Although Mayor Bowser had recently opened another stadium (Audi Field) just outside of Ward 6, she is still pressing forward in trying to bring the team home. Currently the National Park Services have seven more years on their lease on the land under RFK stadium, and the mayor is lobbying to extend that.
While any hard moves probably won’t be made until the end of the lease is near, it is still an important fact that Ward 6 and D.C. residents want the team to come home, just under the peoples conditions.