Washington Redskins President Bruce Allen made it crystal clear Monday the team would not reconsider whether to change the team’s nickname if it became a political barrier to building a new stadium in the nation’s capital or elsewhere.
The club currently plays at FedEx Field — which opened in Landover, Maryland, in 1997 — and has started exploring sites for a new facility, even though its lease there runs until 2026.
At a news conference before the Redskins' last practice of training camp Monday, Allen said the team has spoken with representatives of Washington, Virginia and Maryland about a spot for a stadium.
“We’ve had great conversations with all the areas, and the design is something that we’ve started on,” Allen said, “but really it is preliminary right now.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser in April that the National Park Service — which owns the land where the team’s former home, RFK Stadium, sits in the city — wouldn’t grant a new lease because of objections to the team’s name. Owner Dan Snyder has said he will never change the nickname.
When asked Monday about the possibility of revisiting that policy if the name is a political barrier to a new location for the stadium, Allen quickly gave a one-word answer: “No.”
RFK Stadium sits on land owned by the National Park Service that is leased to the city. The lease expires in 22 years. The city would need an extension to build a new stadium there. Altering the lease would require an act of Congress, and the city could seek Congressional support for a change in the lease without the Park Service’s blessing.