City Paper is not for tourists
There’s one more reason to expect the Pigskins will never play a game again in the District. The Post reports that the Interior Department warned Muriel Bowser that it probably won’t allow the team to move back to the area around RFK Stadium unless the team’s name is changed.
Of course the feds aren’t the only thing keeping the Pigskins out of town. Here are the biggest obstacles to a Pigskins move that stand between you and seeing Robert Griffin III throwing interceptions in the District:
That Name, Federally
The Interior Department administers the land underneath RFK Stadium, which means they have a lot to say about who uses the land (and whether the District can renew its lease in 2037). Not insignificantly for the name debate, the department also handles treaties with Native American tribes.
“Secretary Jewell has been clear that she considers the Washington football team’s name a relic of the past and believes it should be changed,” says Interior Department spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw.
The Bowser administration hasn’t responded to LL’s request for comment.
That Name, Locally
Pigskins owner Dan Snyder isn’t exactly a thick-skinned guy, and it’s hard to imagine him making a deal with District officials who say his team’s name is racist, even for a couple hundred million in public money. Hence Bowser’s bizarre flip-flop on the team’s name, which hasn’t even convinced her staff, much less Snyder.
Last year, it was popular for District candidates to say they’d welcome a Pigskins stadium, as long as it didn’t need financing from the District. On the other hand, Snyder’s FedEx Field vendors have sold old peanuts and bathroom beer as part of the team’s pursuit of profits, so spending Snyder’s own money on a stadium when he could get the city to do it instead seems unlikely.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery