The Washington Redskins’ decision in 2012 to keep its team headquarters in Ashburn, Va. – and forgo a move to Bowie, Md. – cost Prince George’s County a potential $71 million boom in annual economic activity.
The potential financial windfall was detailed in a study commissioned by Prince George’s County and the Maryland Stadium Authority but never publicized because it was completed days after the Redskins announced plans to remain in Virginia.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker announced plans to study the impact of a relocation of Redskins team headquarters and training camp to a swath of land near the Bowie State University MARC train station. The county spent tens of thousands of dollars to commission a study of the economic impact of such a move. Baker’s announcement was heavily publicized in 2011.
The results of the study went largely unnoticed because the Redskins revealed a new agreement to remain in Virginia before the study’s completion. A Maryland Stadium Authority official told the News-4 I-Team the results of the study were to be released “just days” after the team’s revelation.
The study shows a Redskins headquarters relocation could bring 870 new jobs to the Bowie area, in addition to a hefty influx of new income tax revenue, in part, the study says, because the team’s players would have incentive to move to Maryland to be closer to both the team practice facilities and FedEx Field, located in nearby Landover.
The study, produced by a Florida contractor, said moving the Redskins training camp to Bowie would also contribute $3 million to the local economy by attracting tens of thousands of visitors and tourists.
Boyd Campbell, a Bowie-area community activist, said a Redskins relocation would’ve accelerated plans to redevelop the Bowie State MARC station area. But he said the plans will push forward without the team. Campbell said the timeframe for a redevelopment is difficult to pin down.
“As a rule, these projects, depending on size and scope, take anywhere from 12 to 50-to-60 months,” he said.
“After looking and listening to many opinions regarding the benefits of different practice field locations for the Washington Redskins, we concluded that our current location in Loudoun County was the best for our players and organization,” Redskins team spokesman Tony Wyllie said in a statement to the News4 I-Team.
A spokesman says Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray is speaking with team officials about a future relocation to D.C., in part because of possible economic benefits. The News4 I-Team learned no formal city task forces or commissions have been established to pursue the team.