Since 2003, the Washington Redskins have held their annual training camp at their team headquarters in Ashburn. Yet it looks like the 'Skins are making a change of scenery.
The Redskins will move their training camp to the state capital in 2013, News4 confirmed. The site, however, has not been determined. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday that the Redskins will begin working with the City of Richmond to identify a suitable training camp site.
“Virginia considers the Redskins our team," McDonnell said in a release. "The team is based here. The team trains here. The players live here. Virginians root for the Redskins on the field, and off the field the team contributes greatly to the economy and culture of the Commonwealth. Virginia is committed to keeping the Redskins right here in our state for years to come, and today we’ve taken a significant step towards accomplishing that goal."
Redskins brass visited City Stadium, former home of the Richmond Spiders, in March, so perhaps that might be the new location. Virginia Commonwealth University is also a possibility.
While training camp may be on the way out of Loudoun County, McDonnell announced that the team's corporate headquarters will stay in Ashburn, and will even be expanded.
The move signals a win for Virginia, as both Maryland and District have reportedly been in talks to get the Redskins to move training camp to their areas. The Redskins have held training camp at Frostburg State University in the past, as well as at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray pondered a training facility in southeast Washington in March.
Why the high demand for the Redskins? Money, obviously.
According to McDonnell's office, recent data shows:
- The team supports 1,832 jobs in the state, directly and indirectly.
- The squad generates nearly $200 million in economic activity in Virginia and over $100 million annually in player salaries, and provides $9.8 million annually in state and local tax revenue.
- Expansion of the training facility is estimated to support 393 jobs during construction, while generating $52.8 million in total economic activity.
- The existing corporate headquarters supports, directly and indirectly, 350 jobs and provides $2.2 million in state and local tax revenue, not including the corporate income tax paid by the team.
- The headquarters is visited by 20,000 individuals a year who spend approximately $3.4 million on goods and services during their visits.
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York said that retaining the Redskins had been a top priority for county officials.
"The fact that the team chose to stay in Loudoun County, even when courted by other neighboring jurisdictions, proves that Loudoun is a premier destination for business in the Washington metropolitan area,'' York said in a statement. "We are all very excited to work with the Redskins to bring more business and tourism to Loudoun."
So is Virginia officially "Redskins Country"? McDonnell thinks so.
"This is a positive and exciting development for football fans from Loudoun County to Richmond to Virginia Beach," McDonnell said in a statement. "It will mean more jobs in our state, and more revenue for state and local coffers. More than anything, it means Virginia will remain ‘Redskins Country.’ In the years ahead I look forward to visiting the new expanded training facility in Loudoun County, and watching the team practice right here in our state capital of Richmond.”