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New Washington Redskins stadium Q&A

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New Washington Redskins stadium Q&A

There are a lot of questions about the Redskins’ new stadium, something that Dan Snyder told Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez was in the planning stages. There are only partial answers but here is the best information we have on what to look for.

Where will it be built?

Snyder said that it could go in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia so that covers a lot of ground. The spot everyone focuses on is the current site of RFK Stadium in Washington. That was late owner Jack Kent Cooke’s preferred site for the stadium that ultimately ended up being FedEx Field. There are obstacles to getting it done there including the fact that the federal government must sign off on it, creating another later of red tape to deal with. But, to be sure, there are obstacles to getting it built anywhere.

Some speculation about a Maryland site centers on the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, just over the Wilson Bridge from Alexandria. That is an attractive area with hotels, restaurants, shops in place and a casino coming soon. But it has no Metro stop and the main access would be the Beltway, something that is considered to be one of the main drawbacks to FedEx Field.

There is no specific site in Virginia but you would have to think that the possibilities are being considered. The state is already home to Redskins Park and the team’s training camp in Richmond and there is little doubt that the state government would love to lure the other phase of the operation—playing the games—to the Commonwealth.

When will it be ready?

The short answer—don’t hold your breath. Cooke first announced his intention to build a new stadium to replace RFK in August of 1988. FedEx Field opened in 1997. The nine-year timetable is not exceptionally long, comparing it to stadiums being built or opened now.

Redskins fans who want to see this happen should hope it doesn’t turn out to be like the 49ers’ quest to replace Candlestick Park. My friend Matt Maiocco, 49ers reporter for CSNbayarea.com, told me that it took 30 years from when the Niners first started to consider a new stadium until the opening of Levi’s Stadium this year. The first funding ballot initiative took place in 1997.

It doesn’t have to take that long. In Atlanta, they started to seriously talk about replacing the Georgia Dome in 2010. Four years later construction is underway and the new stadium with a retractable dome is slated to open in time for the 2017 season.

The other new NFL stadium under construction, in Minneapolis, will end up being about a 10-year process. Plans were first announced in 2007. After some major setbacks in the Minnesota state legislature and a lot of searching for a suitable site, the location and funding were settled in 2013. It is scheduled to open for the 2016 season.

There are other factors that will play in to the opening date. Chief among them is the Redskins’ lease on FedEx Field, which isn’t up until 2027. This is not necessarily a deal breaker to opening a new stadium before that but it will require some negotiation.

What will it look like?

Here’s what Snyder said:

“We've already seen some preliminary drawings and I'm going to be very retro with it. It's gonna feel like RFK. It's gonna move like RFK. I love that, I actually asked architectural firms to do it and they said that they can do it. I said that I think the lower bowl sections are going to want to rock the stadium like the old days.”

The concept of a “retro” feel to a stadium is interesting. The recent stadiums opened in the NFL and the two slated to open in the near future have a very modern, even futuristic look and feel. Snyder could be going for what Baltimore did when Camden Yards was built, an old-time look and feel but with the modern amenities that fans expect these days.

However, fans expecting a cleaned-up version of RFK will be disappointed. That stadium held just over 50,000. That’s too small by today’s standards and way too small to host a Super Bowl, something Snyder said he would like to do in his new stadium.

Snyder said nothing about whether the preliminary drawings he’s had done were for an open-air venue, generally the least expensive option, a domed stadium, more costly than open air, or for a building with a retractable roof, usually the highest-priced way to go.

Who will pay?

Snyder will foot a good chunk of the bill. However, it’s unlikely that he will pay all of the construction costs like Cooke did (he did get some government help for roads and infrastructure). The reason? The costs have skyrocketed.

The $250 million that Cooke spent to build FedEx Field would translate to about $350 million in today’s dollars. But stadium costs have increased much more than just the cost of living would indicate. Levi’s Stadium (open air) cost $1.3 billion. The retractable roof facility in Atlanta will come in at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. The fixed-roof stadium in Minnesota is now estimated to cost $967 million but nobody would be surprised if it crept up over the billion-dollar mark by the time it opens.

Whatever portion Snyder does not pay will come from some combination of tax money and, possibly, personal seat licenses. Almost half of the teams in the NFL require fans to purchase licenses in order to buy season tickets. The new stadium in San Francisco and the upcoming facilities in Atlanta and Minneapolis all have some sort of PSL plans.

Some PSL’s are relatively inexpensive, others are way out of the reach of the average fan. PSL’s range from a low of $250 per seat in Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and other places to a high of $150,000 at Jerry Jones’ stadium in Dallas.

But before you season ticket holders get up in arms, wait and see. As noted above we are a long way from this happening and perhaps Snyder can find other financing options as the process unfolds.

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

Redskins 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

The 2017 NFL Draft isn't officially here, but it's very near. And for the Washington Redskins, this year's NFL Draft brings with it a lot of intrigue.

The Redskins are coming off an 8-7-1 season and are in the middle of an offseason that's included a lot of change. Therefore, the team needs to ace their 2017 NFL Draft and bring in a rookie class with a lot of talent. 

How will they do that, though? Starting with pick No. 17, will the Redskins draft a player based on need or based on their board? And which prospects would be the best fits for Washington?

Scroll through CSNmidatlantic.com's 2017 Redskins draft preview for the most in-depth coverage of the team's draft you'll find before the big night.

What will the Redskins' draft strategy be for the 2017 Draft?

 

 

 

What are the Redskins' biggest draft needs? 

 

 

 

  • Feeling a safety? Malik Hooker and Budda Baker both figure to be in the mix when the Redskins first pick on Thursday night.

 

What are mock drafts projecting the Redskins to do at No. 17?

 

 

 

 

Other Redskins draft storylines that Redskins fans should know

 

 

Draft busts: 15 draft busts taken in Round 1

NFL Draft history: The best players taken 17th overall