Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the list of sites for a Washington Redskins training camp in Richmond has been narrowed to four.
Speaking to the media at Redskins Fan Appreciation Day Saturday at Redskins Park, the governor also said he expects the management to be in Richmond sometime next week checking out the sites, which has been narrowed down to four, according to media reports.
However, these sites were not named. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mayor Dwight C. Jones indicated the list of sites is being kept confidential “because not all of the sites are city-owned.”
However, one site has popped up as an area of interest: Virginia Union University.
WTVR News 6 (CBS) has reported that Redskins officials will be touring the college this Sunday to view their facilities, according to a “source close to the selection process”.
Unlike the District of Columbia, who strongly opposed bringing any hopes of the Redskins back to the area, McDonnell said Richmond citizens are happy to have them. It didn’t come without opposition: While many in the House considered the move just as blatant as Kentwan Balmer going MIA this week, the deal pretty much seals the Redskins’ residence in the Commonwealth.
Here’s a breakdown of the deal:
“The agreement, which is part of a larger package that provides for the expansion of the Redskins’ Ashburn facilities, will cost the county $2 million over four years — or $500,000 annually, according to county officials. The funds will come exclusively from restricted transient occupancy taxes — hotel room taxes — which must be used for tourism-related purposes. The Redskins will also receive a $4 million grant from the state and a $6 million contribution from the Virginia State Lottery toward the planned $30 million expansion of the organization’s corporate headquarters and training facility, county officials said…Loudoun’s part of the deal is valued at $16 million, and the county reported that the local economic benefit of the expansion at Redskins Park would be about $10 million. The marketing agreement, which seeks to closely align Loudoun with the Redskins brand, will include key provisions such as on-air mentions and on-screen identification; use of the Redskins team trademarks; VIP tours and recreational field events at Redskins Park; use of the FedEx Field premium suite; club level tickets; pre-game field passes; and special event ticket pre-sale opportunities for Loudoun businesses.” SOURCE: Washington Post
“I can’t tell you how excited people are in Richmond about this,” McDonnell said.
Getting the Redskins in Richmond will surely increase its fan base. Those who aren’t able to make the trek to Northern Virginia will now have the chance to catch a glimpse of the team in their community, something that Loudoun County has been enjoying for years.
Loudoun County Chamber Of Commerce CEO Tony Howard was right. Speaking to him via phone earlier this year he told me this: “The Redskins are going to be back…And when they’re back to being a Super Bowl contender Loudoun County is then on the world stage. There is prestige and brand development that comes from that.” Looks like he was spot on.
Ricky Allen is a Washington Redskins Blogger with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @UltimateRedskin.