Plan For Redskins Stadium Faces Mounting Political Opposition
Opposition is "mounting in the Democratic-controlled Maryland legislature to Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal for a new Redskins stadium" in Prince George’s County, according to a front-page piece by Luke Broadwater of the BALTIMORE SUN. House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch said Thursday that he is "opposed to spending taxpayer money on infrastructure for a new stadium when the state has more pressing needs." His opposition "isn’t the only hurdle for Hogan’s plan," as state lawmakers are submitting legislation to block the move; the Redskins are "exploring other sites; a federal environmental study is needed, and both the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress would have to approve various aspects of the deal." Busch said of Hogan's plan, "I don’t know who’s going to vote for that. He can’t pay for the infrastructure he’s already promised people." Hogan and new Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks have been "working to try to keep the team in the county, even as the Redskins consider sites in Washington and Virginia, as well." But Busch said that he "sees no reason" for the Redskins to leave their location 15 miles to the northeast at FedExField in Landover. Hogan pledged this week "not to use taxpayer money to construct a stadium for Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder, but said taxpayers might pay for infrastructure." State Del. David Moon of Montgomery County said that he will "introduce legislation in the session that begins Jan. 9 that would block the state from assisting the team with a new stadium" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/14).
HOUSE OF CARDS: In DC, Thom Loverro writes trying to get the deal done "before the Democrats take control of the House next month was a long shot, but likely the only shot the project had." Still, "without the change ... it’s difficult to see how the city pulls off landing the Redskins." Without that provision, what does DC "have to offer Snyder?" This "isn’t a Nationals Park situation, where the city paid the full price" for a new ballpark, or "even an Audi Field situation ... where the city agreed to pay for half of the stadium." Without commercial development "in and around" the old RFK Stadium site, all they will have is a "football stadium -- an outdoor football stadium that sits empty for much of the year and, as an economic driver, helps no one" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/14). A WASHINGTON POST editorial states, "There is, to be sure, a serious conversation to be had over whether the District should welcome Washington’s football team back to its old home." Local residents "should welcome the possibility of House Republicans’ extending the lease and removing use restrictions without requiring any specific use in a year-end legislative package." What is at stake now is whether DC will have the "ability to make decisions about RFK and invest in its future" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).