Heads up, Redskins fans. Your future could be playing out in the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders Stadium deal.
Two stories caught my eye.
“The Nevada Senate voted in favor of a $750 million expenditure for a new stadium that could host the Oakland Raiders in the near future. Responding to the vote on Friday, Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement that makes it seem like the move has already been made from Northern California to the great state of Nevada.” (Emphasis mine)
And this one.
“Any time a professional sports entity finds itself creating a relationship with a casino mogul, there promises to be some rough patches.”
The first story flags the process of how stadium deals come together. Public, meaning “government,” support is the first tangible step. The cost to the public is approaching one billion dollars.
States don’t usually build or own commercial sports stadiums. The sheer scale of such projects demand government commitment to build the infrastructure to support it. The league and the union make larger commitments, but States speak up first.
The Redskins have already started conversations with DMV jurisdictions … with the “M” and the “V” part anyway.
The second story highlights two points.
Business relationships with casino owners give pro sports leagues the hives.
The Black Sox scandal may be ancient history to you, but close association to gamblers carries real risk the NFL prefers to avoid altogether. Hog Heaven thinks they will be no more successful stopping Mark Davis than they were stopping his father, Al Davis.
Or, maybe not.
We are trying to figure out why the Redskins emailed Hog Heaven last year to “Like” the billion dollar MGM National Harbor on Facebook.
How will Daniel Snyder vote on the Raiders to Las Vegas and what’s in it for him?
The National Harbor development sits right off the Capital Beltway on the Potomac River. It is geographically ideal for a new Redskins stadium if one is not build in the District of Columbia.
Why DC won’t get a stadium — too many hurdles
D.C. is the fan sentimental favorite for a new stadium. We believe business and politics flips the normal order of preference of “DMV” to Virginia having the best shot. I read that most Redskins season ticket holders today are Virginians.
And then there is the District. They owner does not return their calls after the DC Council condemned the team name as racist. They seem perplexed that Daniel Snyder takes their refusal to say “Redskins” to be akin to not saying his own name. Beyond the District is federal hostility.
Hillary Clinton is the likely winner of the November elections. Whomever she appoints as Interior Secretary will likewise continue the department’s disdain for “Redskins.” D.C. could lobby for a change of heart. Their own reluctance to use the name weakens their case.
If Trump wins, Congress will flip to Democratic control in 2018. That may be better for the party, but worse for a Redskins return to the District.
Principled stand by DC, or shot an arrow in their foot? You decide.
And then there are the hard dollar hurdles for the District. It is not a State (although its people should have voting representation in Congress). They have neither the population nor financial resources to absorb the hits as well as Maryland or Virginia can.
DC committed $660 million to support the Nationals baseball stadium. It was bitterly resisted at the time, only to have every city leader take credit for it once built. Perhaps the success of that deal will make the sell easier for a new DC Redskins stadium now than in the 1990s when it was lost. My gut feel says no to that.
“D” faces more hurdles to winning the deal than the “M” and the “V” is all we are saying.