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Report: Washington Redskins lobbying to have stadium provision tucked into massive spending bill


The team is said to be working with congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to pave the way for the new development

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder reportedly has his eye on the site of RFK Stadium for a new complex where his team can play. According to the Washington Post, the billionaire is getting help from congressional Republicans and the Trump administration who are working to add a provision into an upcoming spending package that would clear a path for the new development.

What are the details?

The Redskins played at RFK for decades before moving to their current home at FedEx Field in nearby Maryland in 1997. With the lease at FedEx Field expiring in 2027, officials in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., are all courting the team, floating possibilities of locations and incentives for the new stadium to be built on their turf.

Citing unnamed sources, the Post reported last week that congressional Republicans and the Trump administration are working to slip a provision into the massive spending bill expected by the end of this month, allowing commercial development on the RFK site, which is currently prohibited by law. The proposed language would also extend the National Park Service's lease on the land for another 99 years, after its expiration in 2038.

According to the sources, Snyder and government officials are in a rush to get clear the major development hurdle for RFK before Democrats take control of the House in the next Congress.

In August, D.C. broke ground on a taxpayer-funded $489 million redevelopment project to transform the 190-acre RFK grounds. Mayor Muriel Bowser hopes the Redskins will return home to the location (one prototype option includes a stadium among other commercial buildings) and wrote a letter to President Donald Trump last year, asking him to "transfer outright or to extend the lease for the long term while also removing restrictions from future use" of the property. Congressional action would also be necessary to extend the lease.

Former President Barack Obama's administration refused to the extend the lease, citing its disapproval of the team's name, which it deemed to be offensive to Native Americans. Snyder has insisted the team's name actually honors Native Americans and has repeatedly stated he would never change it.

Anything else?

Whichever location the Redskins decide to call home after their current lease is over, taxpayers in the chosen locale can expect to foot a hefty share of the bill.

In spite of well-documented evidence reported by both liberal and conservative outlets that taxpayer-funded sports stadiums are a ripoff to the public, politicians stubbornly continue to offer sweetheart deals to NFL owners promising to bring fans and revenue in exchange for billions of dollars in subsidies.

The Redskins deal is expected to be no different, as politicians from the D.C.-metro area are already set to compete for the rights to house the team using taxpayer dollars to sweeten the pot. If the development restrictions on the RFK site are lifted, it will up the ante even more.

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