The Washington Redskins are still trying to find a new home to replace aging FedEx Field. Owner Dan Snyder may have found a way to get a ball rolling on the project.
According to the Washington Post, the Redskins have proposed an idea of building a stadium in either Maryland or Virginia, as long as the team can offer wagering in that state. Neither Maryland nor Virginia currently have legalized sports betting, while nearby states Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey do offer the luxury. Per the Post, Snyder has had far more success in Virginia in making headway toward getting a sports betting permit, with two bills up for a full chamber vote Monday that would guarantee the team a sports betting permit if it wanted one.
Snyder’s pitch to Virginia lawmakers included potential stadium sites in Virginia; those locations were not identified in the report. Virginia does not have a stadium for a major league sports franchise, as the Redskins play in Maryland and the Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals play in the District of Columbia.
Snyder has made a proposal to build a new stadium at the site of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, which would house the team’s headquarters and practice facilities (currently located in Virginia). The proposal includes an entertainment district that includes hotels and restaurants. Snyder owns the the land FedEx Field is on, along with the surrounding area. The Redskins are committed to playing in FedEx Field until 2027.
Washington’s attendance at FedEx Field has been down in recent seasons, and the team has often had to deal with a takeover from the opponent’s fanbase. The Redskins haven’t won a playoff game since 2005 and have only made three playoff appearances since then.
The struggles on the field are far from Washington’s only problems, however. With the D.C. Metro a mile from the stadium and complex parking zones making it difficult to enter and exit the stadium complex, fans find it difficult to attend a Redskins game. The price to pay for a Redskins ticket is reportedly one of the highest in the league and the game day experience is bland, with no outside attractions to keep fans involved before and after the game.
Sports betting may spearhead the Redskins’ decision where to build a new stadium. Right now, it’s certainly a leverage play for whatever state wants to house the franchise.