Snyder Wants to Build at FedEx Site?
Most Redskins fans can't stand FedExField.
It represents everything they don't want. A symbol of losing seemingly forever and a concrete jungle with no personality.
The visual that greets you every time you approach is the huge craters of empty space in the upper deck that were taken out because the Redskins feared being blacked out on local television, when that was still a policy in the NFL.
It's only going to get worse in terms of experience over the next eight years.
With a new stadium far from reality, there seems to be little hope for fans to avoid the trip up the beltway and across the Wilson bridge to Landover for a long time to come.
It might be even longer, per the Washington Post.
The genesis of the concept is legalized sports betting in Maryland, which is currently not allowed.
Maryland has mega casino interests at MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County and even the Horseshoe casino concept in Baltimore near where the Ravens play.
I don't know why Maryland has not legalized sports betting but neither has Virginia and there have been all sorts of issues in the District of Columbia.
West Virginia did it almost immediately.
My guess is that legalized sports betting, especially tied to building a new Redskins stadium, would hurt some of the business and traffic at those particular establishments.
One of the questions that immediately comes to mind is this: If Maryland were to go in with the Redskins - would the new stadium and the sports betting location be the only place you can lay money down on the NFL, NBA, NCAA or anything else?
Or would it be allowed everywhere? If that's the case, why would anyone do it at the Redskins new digs unless it is a game day which is roughly ten times a year?
In addition and this is much more important to Redskins fans in D.C. and more importantly in the commonwealth of Virginia - a new stadium at the current site would make parking there a nightmare because of the construction zone. Especially if the Redskins ever become a hot ticket item again. Thousands and thousands of parking spaces would be taken away.
Also, a new stadium built on the current location wouldn't solve any of the current complaints about traffic, both before and after a game, location and the lack of a great mass transit option.
The Metro station is too far away for many. The Redskins clearly want you to park on their stadium site because they make a lot of money and do nothing for it.
For me, as a member of the media, I don't face the huge traffic problems that others do getting in and out because for the most part, I am arriving 3-4 hours before and staying 3-4 hours afterwards.
However, I can understand that not everyone can do that or wants to do that. Hell, I don't want to do that.
The problem that media and many fans that are parking in the grey lot and other remote spots is a near mile long walk by the time you get to your seat, having to do it in bad weather or at night, and the general infrastructure surrounding a lot of the non-premium lots.
They're not paved, often poorly lit, the "short-cuts" to the main roads into the stadium are often jumping over or through dangerous creeks, woods and unstable rock.
It will only get worse if a new stadium is built at the same location.
The location in every way is not ideal. It's not as bad as many make it, but it's far from ideal.
Especially if the shifting of the fan base continues and pushes away from Maryland, because of the proximity of the Baltimore Ravens and their gradual expansion.
The Redskins were reportedly interested in building near National Harbor, but that idea ended fairly quickly.
Obviously, the current RFK is the best location to satisfy the most but there are all sorts of political issues and problems with that site. It doesn't seem likely that it will happen and we might not be talking about the Redskins just simply changing their name.
Virginia is not republican controlled right now, which is a problem because that clashes with Snyder's heavy Republican stance and democrats generally do not favor bending over and saying "thank you sir, may I have another" to corporate America and powerful businessmen that want regular citizens to pay for their luxurious toys.
If Snyder wants to wait until 2022, maybe something will loosen up in Virginia to go with the original plan, which was to build the new stadium there but can he?
Is it worth the risk? Probably not.
Hence the reason why the current location is more of a possibility than anyone wants.
My question: If Maryland doesn't go with this concept and things do not change in D.C. or Virginia - does Dan Snyder get angry and hostile enough that he starts threatening to relocate the Redskins to another city?
99% of the fan base will dismiss this possibility. I think it's highly unlikely but I would never count it out if Snyder feels trapped and things do not turn around on the political and football front very quickly.
Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.